What could have led to this? A 70-year-old ‘pastor’, Emmanuel Adeyemi, has been arrested by the Lagos police command for allegedly chaining his son and 27 others.
Adeyemi was arrested alongside his first wife, at his Oyinbo Unity Estate, Olamidun Close, Yakoyo, Oke-Ira, Ojodu residence, after he was accused of putting his son, Toba Adedoyin Adeyemi, 17, in chains and starving him of food.
13 children and 15 adults were rescued from the premises with an inscription, “Mimo Mimo Mimo Safulaijah”, situated in a valley at the estate.
When The Nation visited the church, some of the pastor’s client were seen weeping over his arrest.
Two men and an aged woman who sat on a bench claimed that the suspect has been healing people of various ailments including mental disorder, diabetes, stroke and spiritual attacks.
The woman, Mosili Nosiru, who wept profusely, explained that her son, Mohammadu Tijani, was among those taken away by security forces.
She explained that the boy, who was a university undergraduate, has been battling with mental issues for eight years.
Mrs Nosiru said: “It has been on and off since eight years. He has finished Quaranic School. When it stopped, he gained admission but the problem started again. So, we brought him to this place and he was healed. But he relapsed and we brought him back.
“He has been here for over one year and he was getting better before government officials came and took them. They told us they have taken our children to Ikorodu. Now, I can’t see my son,” she sobbed.
One of the men who claimed to have come from Ondo State to meet the suspect, disclosed that the ‘pastor’ has been healing him from ‘spiritual arrows’.
The man who did not disclose his name said he knew the suspect about two months ago after he was attacked spiritually, adding that it was the man who saved his life by taking the arrows away.
“I have been coming here for about two months. I knew him after someone introduced me to his place. The man is a ‘doctor’. He heals people with herbs and sacrifices. He does not do anything bad. He is also very generous. Arrows were sent into my body but he helped me and removed them. If not for him, I would have been dead. So many people, including big men come here for spiritual work,” he claimed.
The suspect’s second wife, Tope Adeyemi, appealed to the government to release his husband, insisting that he only tied Toba because he wanted to deliver him from a wandering spirit.
The expectant mother said the suspect felt the spirits he cast off his clients were affecting his son who usually ran away from home to an unknown destinations for several months.
“His father chained him on Thursday so that he can do three-day deliverance on him. The deliverance would have been completed on Saturday but on Friday morning, policemen from Area G came here and arrested my husband.
“He chained Toba because he is always running away from home. The other time he ran to Shagamu and after sometime, he was brought home. One week later, he ran to Ibadan and he was found after one month. The last one was to Powerline. He ran from home and went to Powerline. He stayed there for two weeks and was brought home.
“His father became worried because he used to be a very gentle boy. So, he chained him because he believed that it was a spiritual attack and wanted to do three-day deliverance on his son. My husband is not a criminal. He does not do anything bad. He only heals people and helps people. He has licence for the business. They should please release him”, Mrs. Adeyemi said.
Most of the rescued victims looked malnourished with some of them severely ill.
Confirming the incident, the command’s spokesperson, Dolapo Badmos, a Superintendent (SP) said: “Further search of the premises led to the discovery of other people chained by the suspect. Total number of 28 persons, comprising, six adult males, nine adult females, seven female children and six male children were rescued and taken to protective custody.”
“Suspect has been arrested and currently undergoing interrogation as the command is working assiduously to get the root of the occurrence.”