According to the Ondo State Police Command, 77 people—including women and children—were saved on July 2 from an underground church in Ondo town, the administrative center of Ondo West LGA.
26 children, 8 teenagers, and 43 adults were among the victims who were saved from the Whole Bible Believers Church, often known as the “Ondo Church.”
In a statement, the command’s spokesperson, SP Funmilayo Odunlami, claimed that Pastor David Anifowose and his assistant, Josiah Peter Asumosa, had duped the victims.
The two pastors were alleged by the relatives of the people to have hypnotized them and camped them in an isolated apartment within the church located in the Valentino area of Ondo town, on the pretence of religious abduction.
Odunlami disclosed Asumosa had brainwashed the victims that rapture will take place in April which he later said it has been changed to September, 2022.
According to Odunlami, the two pastors were arrested following complaints from some parents of the underaged children camped in the church. The pastor was said to have further told the young members of his church to obey only their “parents in the Lord” and not their biological parents.
Meanwhile, one of the parents, Mrs Jessica Akintemi, whose two girls and their father, Oluwarotimi, had moved to the church ‘to meet Jesus Christ’ said that her two girls had abandoned school since January because the pastors hypnotised them.
“l’ve been married to my husband for 22 years, he is a mathmatics teacher in a secondary school in Ondo. He abandoned work and took along my two girls, Ayomide, 15, in SS3 and Olamide, 13, who is in SS2.
The pastors told the congregation that rapture is coming in September and that we should camp in church to receive glorification body to meet Christ when he appears. They also asked students to stop schooling, workers should stop working, wives to leave their husbands and husbands to do same and come to meet their Lord,” she said.