A pastor with the Christ Apostolic Church in Onigbogbo, Atan Ota, Ogun State, has fallen critically ill after he was abducted and tortured by some members of the Oodua People’s Congress during church service.
45-year-old Pastor Olusegun Omoniyi, who was rescued by policemen from the Sango Area Command, is currently living in fear for his life as the OPC members had threatened to recapture and kill him.
Punch reports that 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.
Omoniyi and his wife got married in 1999 and had a set of twins who died shortly after they were born in 2000.
It was learnt that 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.
The woman was said to have fallen ill with a strange sickness just seven months after she separated from her husband.
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.
Omoniyi said he was taken to a private hospital, adding that the location was not disclosed to protect his life.
He alleged that a top police officer was also backing his in-laws, saying he had gone into hiding for security reasons.
He lamented that his wife’s family had taken away his landed property, adding that his life was in danger.
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