Akinyemi Omoware, Counsel to the founder of Sotitobire Prayer Chapel, Akure, Prophet Babatunde Alfa says the fact that his clients – the defendants have been convicted by Justice Olusegun Odusola of the high court does not mean they do not have a right of appeal.
Omoware stated this while reacting to the judgment against the defendants that he would interact with his clients to know the next line of action.
The Precision NG reports that after five hours of ruling, Prophet Alfa alongside five members of the church were sentenced to life imprisonment following the disappearance of one-year-old Gold Kolawole, who went missing at the church last year November. Gold, who would have been two-years-old in September, 2020 is yet to be found.
The five convicted church workers were: Omodara Olayinka, Margaret Oyebola, Grace Ogunjobi, Egunjobi Motunrayo and Esther Kayode.
Justice Odusola, held the accused were convicted based on the circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution.
He also condemned in strong terms the complicity, connivance and compromise of the Ondo State Police Command in the missing child saga.
Odusola ruled the lackadaisical attitude of Prophet Alfa showed his involvement in the disappearance of Gold Kolawole from his church in November last year.
Prophet Alfa and the five church workers were also sentenced to seven years imprisonment on count one, which bordered on conspiracy to commit felony.
The Judge gave them life imprisonment on count two bordering on aiding and abetting kidnapping contrary to and punishable under the Section 5 of the Ondo State Anti-kidnapping and Anti-Abduction law 2010.
The 7th defendant, Peter Anjorin, was discharged and acquitted for lack of substantial evidence from the prosecution.
Anjorin was accused of destroying evidence contrary to and punishable under Section 123 of the criminal code law of Ondo State 2006.
Justice Odusola in his ruling had earlier struck out an application by Prophet Alfa’s counsel, Olusola Oke, seeking to vacate his order that he should be investigated.
The judge ordered that Oke be investigated by the DSS following some allegations raised by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adekola Olawoye.
Prophet Alfa’s popular church is located at Oshinle quarters area of Akure.
The church was burnt down by a mob after the disappearance of Gold Kolawole.
Reacting to the judgement, the commissioner for justice and attorney general of the state, Adekola Olawoye, SAN, expressed delight that justice has been served.