A surprising number of children who were kidnapped have been rescued on Friday night in the Valentino Area of Ondo town, headquarters of Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State.
A total of 50 children were found in the basement of the church and have been kept underground for over six months.
A group, Ekimogun Youths Connect, has disclosed that in partnership with the Police they swung into action to rescue the victims.
The children and the suspected pastors and members related with the case have been transported to the police Headquarters for interrogation on Saturday.
The group, in a statement issued by its president, Mr Famakinwa Lucaskakaki, said, statement read in part, “About 14:00hrs of yesterday, Friday 1st of July, 2022, I was reliably informed that a particular Church in Valentino, Ondo City, called ‘Ondo Church’ , locked people up in the church for over six months, telling them that Jesus Christ will come and meet them by September this year.
“The National President of the Great Constitutional Rights and Justice Forum, in person of Comrade Omotayo Omolayo, was also briefed and we mobilised down to the venue and we met about 50 people locked up in the church.
“The church has rooms where the pastor locked his members. The process of rescuing these ones with the help of Police officers, Amotekun, Atariajanaku and vigilante group, caused a lot of pandemonium that the people under lock started beating us.
“The pastor, the church workers and the people under lock have been arrested and whisked to Akure.”
In a widely shared video, the kids were seen being driven to the police station by security operatives in a patrol car.
A voice could be heard saying, “There are kidnapped children recovered in the underground cell of a church in Valentino Area of Ondo,” in a video that lasts one minute and 40 seconds.
Speaking on the development, SP Funmilayo Odunlami, the state command’s Public Relations Officer, confirmed that the victims had been brought to the police headquarters in Akure.
“They are transporting the casualties to the headquarters, but I’m still unsure of the specifics.
“I will provide you with the information as soon as I receive it from the DPO.”