Three suspected bandits were on Tuesday paraded at the Osun State Police Command headquarters over an alleged attack on a Celestial Church located in Odu Village near Osogbo.
The suspects said to be Fulani by tribe and others believed to be fleeing the area, had allegedly attacked the church during a vigil in the early hours of Tuesday.
During the attack, the perpetrators successfully abducted 12 members of the church, but the victims fled from their captors when they ran into some hunters and other local volunteers that responded to the distress call.
During the incident, a member of the church, whose identity was not revealed, was reportedly raped by the bandits.
Narrating what transpired, a musician, who was invited by the pastor in charge of the church to the vigil, Esther Ayodeji, during an interview with The Picshitz, said, “I arrived at the church a few minutes past 10 pm on Monday to prepare for the vigil. We commenced the vigil around midnight. After my ministration, my drummers were still in the church, but I stepped out.
“A few minutes after, from where I stood with the pastor, we started hearing gunshots. The church is located in a bushy environment, so, we all ran into the bush. At a point, seven of us met in the bush. We were six women and a man. As we were wandering in the bush, two armed men suddenly appeared in front of us and we all ran in different directions. We ran in different directions upon sighting them. I hid inside a stream till daybreak.”
Another member of the church, who craved anonymity, said the church member that was raped had been attended to at a hospital, adding that the abduction failed due to the quick response of the villagers, hunters and police operatives that responded to the distress call.
He said, “The member that was raped had been treated and no member was eventually abducted. Three suspects were arrested at the scene of the crime. The abduction failed because the villagers, hunters and police responded early to our calls.”
The Osun Police Command spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola, who advised religious bodies against having programmes late in the evening or early morning, especially in those centres located in isolated places, said the three suspects arrested near the scene were still being interrogated.
Parading other suspects that included those arrested for membership of unlawful societies, and armed robbery, Opalola said Adebayo Adedayo and Adeyemi Sodiq had attacked a business owner in Iragbiji and stole money and items valued at N877,000
She also added that Yusuf Baoku and Ajayi Ismail, who were arrested for attempted murder and membership of unlawful society, and other suspects would be charged to court after the completion of investigation into their various crimes.