Two killed as mob burn Ondo worship centre over missing boy

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A policeman and an unidentified person were killed on Wednesday as suspected arsonists burnt down a worship house, Sotitobire Miracle Centre, in Oshinle, Akure, the Ondo State capital.

There had been tension in the area over the reported disappearance of a one-year-old boy, Gold Kolawole, at the worship house on November 10.

Police spokesman Femi Joseph confirmed the killing of a policeman and an unidentified person.

The killings occurred as youths set ablaze the worship house and a vehicle following reports that the body of the missing boy was exhumed from the worship house.

The billboard of the worship house at another branch in Oba Ile, Akure was pulled down.

Kolawole, according to reports, was last seen in company of his parents at a programme held at the worship house on November 10 at about 11:30am.

The founder of the worship house, Alfa Babatunde, was arrested by the Department of State Services on December 8 following a petition by the parents of the boy.

Joseph had in a statement yesterday dismissed reports that the body of the missing boy was exhumed inside the worship house.

“It is most unfortunate that this misleading information, spearheaded by a popular TV station, has ignited spontaneous reactions from the people, leading to wanton destruction of belongings and injuries to many.

“The worship house was set ablaze by youths. Some of our officers despatched to the scene to contain the situation were pelted with stones, with many of them sustaining injuries.

“Their patrol vehicle was damaged,” he said.

Joseph urged the public not to be hoodwinked by reports that the command had abandoned the investigation of the incident, saying the case file would be sent to the DPP for legal advice.