40 year old Pastor Francis Taiwo of Key of Joy Celestial Church of Christ, Ajibawo area in Atan Ota, Ado Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun was arrested on Sunday, July 24, 2016, after operatives of the state’s Police Command and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) rescued his 9 year old son Korede, whom he chained and starved for over one month for stealing.
Korede, who had been chained on the neck to a heavy log of wood in a room, was rescued on Friday, July 22, 2016, following a tip off from neighbours who were angered by the cruel act of the pastor.
Pastor Francis is currently married to Kehinde, who is nursing a two-month-old baby. Kehinde (Korede’s stepmother) was initially arrested on Fridaywhen Korede was rescued as Francis was reported to have taken to his heels before being apprehended by operatives of the Police on Sunday in his church premises.
Pastor Francis, a father of five, in his confessional statement said he chained Korede so as to deliver him from the demonic spirit of stealing in him.
Part of the statement as released by Punch reads – “I was ordained a pastor in the CCC (Celestial Church of Christ) in 2012. I had divorced two wives, including Korede’s mother, Maria; she is late now. She had four children for me – two boys and two girls – before she divorced me in 2007 after she gave birth to Korede. I chained Korede because he is possessed. An evil spirit makes him to steal. He needs deliverance. His siblings are not living with me.”
It was also reported that Pastor Francis is from Benin Republic, but he was born in Ota, Ogun state in CCC. Korede’s late mother was Marine Taiwo, a native of Delta State.
Korede, who has been treated by the police and discharged, however admitted to stealing, but blamed his father for the act. He was quoted as saying, “It is true that I stole a pot of soup and a bowl of eba in our house. I also stole in the neighbourhood. My father’s inability to give money to my stepmother (Kehinde) for the upkeep of the family caused it. When I was chained, my father and stepmother fed me twice a day. Some days, I was not given any food. I want to go back to school because I want to be a doctor in the future. I do not want to go back to my father’s house.”
Francis’ inexcusable action was also confirmed by some of neighbours who said Francis was in the habit of chaining Korede for hours or days as punishment for any stealing act. On one occasion, Francis was said to have taken Korede chain bound to the river to cast out the stealing demons.
The case has been transferred to the Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Labour Unit of the Ogun State Command, Abeokuta, for investigation and prosecution and Francis might be charged with attempted murder, among other offences.
– Olalekan Olonilua for encomium.ng