Home Court & Crime Missing Boy: Court Fixes Friday To Determine Sotitobire’s Fate

Missing Boy: Court Fixes Friday To Determine Sotitobire’s Fate

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By Temitope Adedeji

An Appeal Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital has fixed  Friday, to deliver judgement on an appeal.brought by Prophet Alfa Babatunde against a state High Court ruling, which sentenced him to life imprisonment following the missing of a boy in his church.

The Appeal Court.had in September reserved judgement on the case which was filed by Babatunde, who is the Founder of Sotitobire Praising Chapel Akure, against his conviction.

One of the counsels informed Westernpost that the court had informed them that the judgement will be delivered on Friday.

Prophet Alfa on Monday appeal that the court should nullify his life sentence by the Ondo State High Court over the disappearance of one-year-old, Gold Kolawole in his Church in 2019.

Presenting his brief to the judges at a sitting which was less than 20 minutes, counsel to Prophet Babatunde, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, said the high-point of his appeal was the charges against Alfa Babatunde which were conspiracy and aiding and abetting kidnapping.

He told the court that at Sotitobire Church in a broad day-light, a child was declared missing. The police were investigating and suddenly, the DSS took over the investigation.

It was based on the investigation of the DSS that the appellant was tried and convicted.

Awomolo argued that his grouse was that DSS did not have the power to take over the investigation from Police.

The counsel said the trial court convicted the appellant not because of any eyewitness or any confession, but based on circumstantial evidence.

He argued that for the totality of the findings of the trial court, the allegations could not be linked to Prophet Babatunde on the basis of circumstantial evidence.

He urged the court to set aside the judgment of the trial court which convicted the appellant and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

Presenting his own brief, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Charles Titiloye argued in respect of the claims of counsel to the appellant that the DSS had no right to investigate and tender evidence in respect of the case.

Tititloye argued that the DSS did carried out the investigation because there was a threat to law and order when the issue of the missing child broke out.

He hinged his argument on the fact that after the alleged kidnapping,  there was serious tension in the town as the church was burnt, with many people killed and properties destroyed.

He said it was based on the crisis that erupted that made the DSS to take over the case, urging the appellate court to uphold the judgment of the high court.

The presiding judge, Justice Rita Nosakhare Pemu after listening to all the arguments of both counsels reserved judgement and said a date would be communicated to the parties.

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