The police in Ondo State have confirmed the death of a police officer during the mob attack on Sotitobire Miracle Centre on Wednesday.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Femi Joseph, said another person, who is suspected to be one of the assailants, also lost his life during the mayhem.
The mob acting on a rumour that the body of the child stolen from the church on November 10, 2019 was exhumed from the church, came with rage and razed the church building. They also torched the vehicles in the premises.
The pastor of the church, Alfa Babatunde, who is popular for his miracles, has been in detention at the State Security Services for the past 10 days where he is being questioned about the missing child.
The one-year-old, Gold Kolawole, was taken away from the crèche section of the church on a Sunday morning under the watch of 14 officials manning the section.
The mob having been dispersed from the church premises by the police, went to the pastor’s residence and also set the house on fire after vandalising it.
Mr Joseph restated that the rumour was false and the reaction from the community was spontaneous, a situation which made it difficult for the police to completely avert the destruction.
“It was so spontaneous and so before we could get there, the mob had set the church building on fire,” Mr Joseph said.
“They also went to his residence and destroyed everything, including the vehicles.”
He noted that 10 persons had been arrested in connection with the incident, while further investigations were ongoing.
Earlier in the day, reports filtered in that the pastor’s health was failing while in detention and efforts were being made to allow him access to proper medical attention.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that his family members had raised the alarm that his health condition was becoming worrisome, as they called for his release to enable him get the needed medical treatment.
There were reports that he had been taken to a hospital shortly before the attack on his church.
The SSS is yet to speak on the matter.