The Ondo Police Command has rescued at least 77 people , including children haboured in an underground apartment at The Whole Bible Deliverance Church in Ondo Town, Ondo West Local Government Area of the state
The police had responded to complaints by residents of the community and rescued the victims from an underground apartment of the church on Friday evening.
Although the incident was initially thought to be kidnapping or child trafficking, police said a preliminary investigation shows it was a case of the pastors of the church holding their members captive through false teachings.
A statement by Funmilayo Odunlami, the Spokesperson of the Command said the rescue operation followed intelligence report gathered by the Police at Fagun Division, Ondo Town.
She explained that the victims were harboured at The Whole Bible Believers Church AKA ONDO CHURCH, Valentino area, Ondo Town.
“Policemen were sent to the Church to invite the Pastor and the members of the Church on sighting the Police attacked them.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that one Pastor Josiah Peter Asumosa, an Assistant Pastor in the Church was the one who told the members that Rapture will take place in April.
“But later said it has been changed to September, 2022 and told the young members to obey only their parents in the Lord.
“Another family who was also around during the rescue said their daughter a part 3 student, dropped out of school due to the strange teachings of the Pastor and left home in January 2022 to start living in the Church.
“In all, 77 members including 26 children, eight teenagers and 43 adult members were rescued from the Church”, she said.
Odunlami, who said that the two pastors were in Police custody, added that investigation had commenced and the outcome would be made known to the members of the Public.