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Abducted pastor tragically killed due to identity mix-up

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Abducted pastor tragically killed due to identity mix-up

The family of Pastor Adeniyi Adisa, a chartered accountant, is demanding justice for the tragic death of their son, whom they allege was killed by a group of youths and the police in Ogun State.

According to The Punch, the father of five was abducted on June 24 while returning from a visit to a friend in the Yotomi area, Owode Egba area of the state.

Adeniyi Adisa, who served as the General Manager of VGC Water in Lekki, Lagos, was held captive by his abductors for several days until his lifeless body was discovered outside a morgue in Ogun State. He was laid to rest in Ibadan on July 8, 2023.

New information emerging from the incident suggests that Adeniyi was mistakenly identified as a kidnapper and killed by some local youths and police operatives.

The younger brother of the deceased, Musiliu Adisa, revealed to the publication that Adeniyi was murdered by irate youths in the Abule-Ori community, along with some security operatives who falsely labelled him as a kidnapper.

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Due to the delay in the ransom payment following his abduction, the kidnappers took him to a remote area near a church they planned to attack. They abandoned him there to carry out the attack.

Subsequently, during a mid-year night vigil at the church, the kidnappers killed the pastor. The police and the state’s So-Safe Corps were alerted by church members and rushed to the scene.

Musiliu alleged that the police and the Corps, while pursuing the kidnappers, came across Adeniyi in the same area and mistakenly believed he was one of the kidnappers, leading to his tragic death.

He said, “My brother was killed by the police and others on July 1, 2023, at the Abule Ori bush near a branch of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in the Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of the state. We are all traumatized and still in pain.”

Musiliu explained, “We received a phone call from him on Sunday morning informing us that he had been kidnapped, and we initiated a rescue mission, prepared to pay a ransom to his abductors. We continued our efforts until that fateful Friday when his friend negotiated with the kidnappers to collect the ransom at the Abule Ori bush. However, the lady tasked with delivering the money was unable to find transportation into the bush and returned with the money.”

The Adisa family pointed out that a press release from the So-Safe Corps implicated the police and the Corps in Adeniyi’s death.

In a Facebook post dated July 2 by online publisher Felix Mordi, it was reported that a member of a suspected kidnapping syndicate had been killed by the operatives of the Ogun State Community, Social Orientation, and Safety Corps (So-Safe Corps).

A press release from the office of the State Commander of So-Safe Corps, Soji Ganzallo, stated that the Corps received a distress call around 12 am on Saturday, July 1, 2023, reporting an attack on members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Desires of Nations Parish, and the kidnapping of seven church members, resulting in the pastor’s death.

The release noted, “The seven victims were rescued unhurt, while one of the kidnappers was killed, and many suspects sustained serious injuries during a firefight.”

Following the incident, the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Omolola Odutola, confirmed the situation to The Punch and mentioned that one of the pastors of the church, Adesina Oyesegun, had reported the incident at the local police station.

Odutola stated, “Around 3:30 pm on Saturday, Oyesegun reported that he and other pastors and church members were in church when a group of about seven armed hoodlums invaded their church with the intention of kidnapping members. Bullets were fired indiscriminately, resulting in the tragic death of Pastor Kayode Oluwakemi, 56.”

It was during the confrontation between the villagers and security personnel in the area and the suspected kidnappers that one of the kidnappers was killed.

However, the Adisa family was devastated when they later discovered that the “yet-to-be-identified suspected kidnapper” killed during this operation was their brother Adeniyi, who had been abducted by the same criminals who attacked the church.

Musiliu explained, “The day after the failed ransom attempt, the kidnappers attacked the RCCG church close to the forest, and one of them was supposedly killed by the police. What we didn’t know was that the kidnappers who had abducted our brother also took him along into the bush during their raid on the church.”

“We later saw a photograph of the suspect in the police news bulletin, and on Tuesday, we discovered it was my brother who had been killed by the police, mistakenly identified as a kidnapper. When we went to identify the body, it became evident that the police had killed our brother, not a kidnapper.”

He added, “According to our findings, when the kidnappers wanted to collect the ransom money, they brought my brother along with them to the Abule Ori bush, thinking they would receive the money, release him to us, and then carry out further operations.”

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Musiliu noted that when the ransom payment failed, the kidnappers likely considered his brother a burden and abandoned him in the bush.

“They didn’t kill him,” he continued. “The following morning, when my brother was trying to make his way through the bush, the police, the So-Safe Corps, and the villagers mistook him for one of the kidnappers who had attacked the area earlier that morning, and they killed him with guns, machetes, and sticks.”

The Adisa family believed that Adeniyi, weakened after enduring seven days of torture by his abductors, was found in the bush early in the morning by community residents and the police, all of whom wrongly identified him as one of the kidnappers.

Musiliu added, “We know they murdered him because they recorded a video while they were killing him. We obtained the video and presented it to the Eleweran Police Command, Ogun State.”

“We filed a petition, and the Commissioner of Police held a meeting with our family, the Divisional Police Officer, the Area Commander, and other authorities. They ordered the arrest of all the individuals seen in the video and charged them with murder.”

He explained that the investigation had been ongoing for about one and a half months, and their contact within the police assured them that the investigation would continue.

Additionally, a video forwarded by the family showed Adeniyi’s lifeless body surrounded by a group of six young men, some of whom were wielding machetes. Four policemen were also present, with one of them holding both a gun and a machete.

“He’s as good as dead,” one of the youths remarked in Yoruba. “Don’t lift him; drag him,” one of the four policemen instructed as two youths gripped Adeniyi’s legs and dragged his lifeless body through the grass.

As his body was squeezed into the back of a pickup van, one of the men commented, “Look at them, they keep their own children safe at home while kidnapping other people’s children.”

One of the policemen struck the already deceased Adeniyi in the legs to remove his shoes, which fell off and were placed on his body.

Musiliu lamented, “My brother’s body was left outside the Owode Egba General Hospital mortuary, exposed to both rain and sunlight. In life and death, he was treated like a common criminal.”

“By Wednesday, July 5, his body had become bloated beyond recognition. It was a horrific sight. We paid the mortuary attendant over N160,000 to address the bloating.”

When contacted for an update on the police investigation into the murder, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Odutola, requested that our correspondent send her a message on WhatsApp for further information.

“I will obtain the relevant information from Obafemi Owode and provide you with an update on WhatsApp. Please send me a message there,” she said.

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