Pastor Kayode Salami has been arrested by the the Ondo State Police Command after a woman was found dead in his church in Idanre, in the Idanre Local Government Area of the state.
The deceased, Adejoke Oloje, who had an 11-month-old child, was said to be a member of the church and had been living on its premises since January 2023.
Her mother, identified only as Deborah, said she found her lying naked in one of the rooms in the church compound while her pants had been removed.
She said, “I called my daughter’s phone and she picked it up. I asked for a description of where she was staying and she obliged me. I went to the church and saw her. She complained about foodstuffs and I promised to bring some for her the following day. I also pleaded with her to leave the place, but she declined and I left.
“The next day, when I got to the church around 5pm, I heard her child crying profusely. So, I moved close to see what happened. I met the door closed. So, I forced it open. To my utmost dismay, I found my daughter on the floor with her pants already removed down her legs and I shouted for help.”
The deceased’s mother further said her daughter was rushed to a hospital, where she was confirmed dead.
She said the case was immediately reported to the police in Idanre and policemen swung into action and arrested the church pastor.
“When the pastor was arrested, we noticed that his trousers were torn under and he wasn’t wearing any underwear. It is a painful story and a sad moment for our family. She was with an 11-month-old child before she met her untimely death. The culprit must not go unpunished,” she added.
However, the pastor, who admitted that the deceased resided in in the church, said he knew nothing about her death.
Salami said, “I knew Adejoke through her sister, Aderonke. They came to my church to worship and they went home. After that day, Adejoke came back on her own to seek accommodation in the church, pending when she would get a place to stay.
“I gave her one room out of the two rooms in the church. I did not ask her what happened between her and her sister, Aderonke. I gave her the camp gas we use in the church to cook.
“There is only one door linking my room and the room given to her to stay. So, I used to pass through her room and I always informed her whenever I was going out or coming in.
“We did vigil together in the church and the next morning, I saw her before going to work because I am a welder. She later came to my place of work to charge her phone around 2pm and came to collect it around 4pm.
“I make use of the room when I have programmes in the church. My family and I rented an apartment outside. I did not rape her and I can’t explain how she died.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs Funmilayo Odunlami, saidthe investigation had begun into the matter, as the case had been transferred to the Akure headquarters of the command.