An obviously sick Francis Taiwo, who chained his nine-year-old son for several weeks, has confessed that he did it because the boy was possessed by what he termed “Stealing spirit”.
Taiwo, a professed pastor of the Key of Joy Celestial Church in Ado Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, was arrested on Sunday after initially evading law enforcement agencies
His malnourished son, Korede, was rescued by officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Friday from the church premises where he was chained like a wild animal.
Narrating his case to the police, Taiwo reportedly said he took the action because he believed his son was possessed with a “stealing spirit” or “emi ole” in Yoruba language.
“I chained my son because I felt he is possessed and I’m not comfortable with his stealing habit,” a police source present during his interrogation quoted the suspect as saying.
He also told officials that he married Korede’s mother who bore four children for him before their divorce in 2007.
He said the victim’s mother, Marine Taiwo, was from Delta State and that Korede’s siblings were not living with him.
The 40-year-old suspect, who hails from Benin Republic, said he was born in Ota, Ogun State. He said he rose to be a pastor in the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) and was ordained in 2012.
The Celestial Church has denied any association with the man who was arrested with the assistance of his church members.
“All we can say is that the man is not a registered – or recognised – pastor in the CCC,” a church official sent from the Lagos headquarters told journalists on Saturday.
Ogun State police spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi, who confirmed the suspect’s interrogation, said he would be prosecuted once investigation is completed.
The victim’s stepmother had earlier been arrested by the police who announced that the malnourished boy will be handed to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare for further rehabilitation.