A pastor , Joesph Ojo , has been arrested for allegedly using his church as a rehabilitation centre for mentally ill people , including people suffering from various ailments and those involved in different forms of social vices .
The PUNCH gathered that Ojo was arrested after 12 allegedly ill people , who were chained in a dilapidated building close to his church , were rescued when men of the Lagos State Police Command stormed the church ’s premises on Wednesday following a tip – off by Samuel Adam , the president of a nongovernment organisation , Eagle Crime Awareness and Prevention Initiative .
When our correspondent visited the church on Thursday , no fewer than four victims were seen in chains in the dilapidated building .
Ojo , while speaking to our correspondent , said the victims were chained because of their condition , adding that their parents brought them to the church for healing .
He said , “The people are chained because of their condition . If I did not chain them , they will run . Many of them have put me into trouble and that is why I do chain them , but when I see that they are ok , I will loosen the chains . I have loosened the chains on those , who are healed but the ones who are still in chains are not yet healed .”
One of the victims , Adewale Adetana, said he was allegedly kidnapped and brought to the church , adding that he was not happy staying in the church .
The Oyo State indigene said , “One early morning , they kidnapped me from where I was sleeping and took me to the church and I have been staying there since then till the police came to pack everybody from the church . I am not happy staying in the church because I have my own life to live . I ’m just here , I can ’t live my normal life and do what I want to do , I can do normal day -to- day activities , so how can I be happy staying there ?”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana , said the command had commenced an investigation into the case , adding that 12 victims had been rescued from the church .
“We have rescued 12 victims so far . They are 15 victims in number , but three couldn ’t move when we got there . We are bringing the remaining three . Some of them were chained. We have commenced an investigation .”