The on-going trial of the Founder of Sotitobire Praising Chapel, Prophet Babatunde Alfa continued on Tuesday over the case of the missing one-year-old boy from his church.
Prophet Alfa who was in the witness box of the Ondo State High Court for the first time testified before the court to prove his innocence over the case.
Prophet Alfa is standing trial over the mysterious disappearance of one-year-old Gold Kolawole from his Church’s children department in November 2019.
According to the Prophet, despite organising marathon prayers and fasting alongside his ministers, the boy’s parent did not cooperate with him to find the missing boy through the right channel.
Prophet Alfa explained that the right channel he claimed in the exhibit before the court was using prayers and security agencies to find the missing boy.
According to the Prophet, the DSS after arresting him searched his house and church but found nothing incriminating.
His lawyer, Olusola Oke also tendered video footage of the church service where prayers were said for the recovery of the boy which was accepted by the court.
While being cross-examined, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Ondo State, Adekola Olawoye, SAN, the Prophet said he never knew the boy’s parents until the incident happened though they claimed they had been attending since June.
Olawoye also told the court that one month after the incident, the police never arraigned Prophet Alfa or any of his church members in court until the DSS did so.
Earlier, the Traditional Personal Assistant to the Deji of Akure, Chief Taiwo Fagite who was the 4th witness for the Prophet also alleged that the parents of the missing boy were not forthcoming
after they reported the incident until they were made to swear an oath at the Deji’s palace alongside 14 teachers in the church.
Fagite who was subpoenaed by the court added that the Deji of Akure upon being briefed on the incident summoned both Prophet Alfa and the boy’s parents but only the cleric showed up.
Chief Fagite said days later, the parents and 14 teachers came to swear to a traditional oath at the Deji’s palace.
While being cross-examined, Chief Fagite admitted that the Prophet during his first visit to the palace came with a popular Akure youth leader known as ‘Ade Basket’ as well as a senior police officer.
Corroborating the Prophet’s claim, the 5th defence witness, Evangelist Funmilayo Ogunlusi, a cleric in the church said a vigil was held the day the incident occurred as well as a 9-day fasting and prayer session by the ministers for the recovery of the child.