A pastor is lying critically ill in the hospital after he was allegedly abducted and tortured by some members of the Oodua People’s Congress over the death of his twin babies and his wife.
Omoniyi, The Church (Photos: Samson Folarin)
A 45-year-old cleric, Pastor Olusegun Omoniyi, of the Christ Apostolic Church in the Onigbogbo area of Atan Ota in Ogun State, was allegedly abducted and tortured by some members of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC).
Omoniyi who had also gone into hiding after he was rescued by policemen from the Sango Area Command, said he feared for his life as the OPC members had threatened to recapture and kill him.
According to a report by Punch Metro, the OPC members were acting on the instruction of some relatives of Omoniyi’s late wife, Omolade, who had vowed to deal with him over the sickness and subsequent death of the woman.
The cleric and his wife was reportedly married in 1999 and had a set of twins in 2000 who were said to have died shortly after they were born, and since the death of the children, the couple had not been able to have any child, which resulted in pressures from Omolade’s family.
Early 2015, the wife was reported to have left the cleric despite entreaties from church leaders and relatives of the husband. 7 months after separating from the husband, the 42-year-old was attacked by a strange illness.
Speaking to a correpondent, Pastor Omoniyi said, “She had told me that her family members didn’t want her to continue living with me, but I begged her to stay.
“However, sometime in 2015, I went for a church meeting when some of her family members came. They took away her property. Attempts at getting her family members to reconcile us were abortive as they said she had made her choice.
“However, in July 2015, I was told she was sick. On the instruction of the church leadership, I went with some other elders to give her N50,000. But her brother did not allow us to see her, saying I should go alone to see her. We refused.
“On February 6, 2016, while I was leading a church programme around 10am, four men entered the church. Two of them were OPC members and the others – Adebayo and Stephen – were my wife’s relatives. While I was on the altar, the two OPC members said they had come to take me away.
“I told them that I would not follow them since I did not know where they were taking me to. They beat me up and one of them showed me a gun and said if I didn’t cooperate, he would kill me.”
Omoniyi said he was thrown into a car belonging to his wife’s eldest brother, adding that he was blindfolded throughout the journey.
The cleric explained that he later found himself in Ijoko, the camp of the OPC, saying the men tortured him before taking him inside a clinic where his wife had been admitted.
“In one of the rooms, I saw my wife on the bed. Her legs were swollen and there was blood all over the place. I asked her why she left the house and what I did wrong
“While talking to her, my in-laws started beating me. I have never suffered such torture. I told my wife right there that God would judge our matter,” he added.
He said he sneaked into the clinic’s toilet where he made a call to a church leader informing him of his location, adding that the latter informed the police who stormed the area and rescued him.
It was learnt that Omolade died the following day. The church leadership was reported to have sent a delegation to condole with the family, and Omoniyi also accompanied the men.
It was learnt that the deceased’s family allegedly attacked the group, insisting that Omoniyi must take his wife’s corpse with him.
“To appease them, I told them to find where they would bury her and I would bear part of the cost, but they refused.
“As I was leaving, they blocked the road and said they would burn the two vehicles we took there. The OPC members, who had earlier abducted me, came and dragged me to where the corpse was.
“After beating me again, they put me on the corpse and said I must die with her. They put me in a car with the corpse. I couldn’t recognise anybody until I saw some policemen who rescued me the second time,” he said.