Lagos police arrested a pastor from the Celestial Church Ejiro Ologonla, 45, for his alleged connection to the disappearance of a 29-year-old student in Oniru Beach last December.
Olatunfe Anthony Oluwafemi disappeared around 2 pm on December 12, after he was sent to Ilupeju from his residence at 27th Owode Street, Alapere, Ketu.
When all the efforts to find him was futile, in December 20th, a complaint was filed with the police.
After two months of police investigation, which included an electronic analysis of the missing man’s Itel phone, detectives traced the phone of three buyers to the pastor who stole it and other victim’s belongings on Oniru Beach.
It was concluded that the phone was first traced to a Monsurat Gbadegeshin, 23, who told investigators that she received it from fiance Abiodun Abiola. After the arrest, Abiola, 30, said he bought the phone from a Tolu Olurotimi, 20, who, in turn, told detectives that he had bought Pastor Ologonla’s phone.
According to police, the pastor in question said he saw the missing man jump into the sea on that fateful day, adding that he was acting drunk.
Ologonla, who said he was on the beach for spiritual cleansing when Oluwafemi arrived there, looking drunk and started chasing people.
He said he saw Oluwafemi get on a fisherman’s boat and then saw him taking off his clothes, shoes, dropped his phones and dived into the sea.
“He claimed that he informed security guards on the beach and also called a police officer and Princess Arike Oniru on the phone, and that he finally took the victims’ clothes, shoes and phone. sold the phone to a Tolu Olurotimi for just N1,500. Oniru beach guards, fishermen, the princess and other witnesses mentioned were also invited for questioning.
“The fisherman stated that, on that fateful day, the missing person arrived on the beach behaving as if he were drunk and that, while paddling the canoe out to sea, he was alerted that the man was hanging from the canoe. He tricked him and brought him back promising to give him fish. But when he returned the next day, he didn’t see the man anymore.
“The princess confirmed that the pastor truly called her to report that someone had jumped into the sea and she advised him to report the incident to the nearest police station. Security guards on the beach denied having received the report from someone jumping into the sea.
“The missing person’s clothes and shoes were found in the pastor’s possession. It is noted that the missing person was on the beach in Oniru before his total disappearance.
“The pastor was the last person who had contact with the missing person. It is not yet established whether the missing person is dead or alive. But the circumstantial evidence gathered so far points strongly to the pastor.
“The pastor not only sold the phone belonging to the missing person, but also converted the money he found in the missing person’s pants for his own use. There is no record that the pastor reported the incident to any police station, ”said police spokesman Bala Elkana in a statement yesterday.
According to Elkana, police commissioner Hakeem Odumosu ordered the immediate transfer of the case to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) Yaba for further investigation.