Francis Taiwo, the pastor in charge of the Key of Joy Parish, Celestial Church of Christ, who chained and starved his 9 year old son for months has been arrested.
He was arrested by the police from the Onipanu division of the Ogun State Police Command with the assistance of his church members yesterday at his church in Ajibawo, Atan, in the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State.
After his arrest, Pastor Taiwo said;
“I was ordained a pastor in the CCC in 2012. I had divorced two wives, including Korede’s mother, Maria; she is late now. She had four children for me – two boys and two girls – before she divorced me in 2007 after she gave birth to Korede. I chained Korede because he is possessed. An evil spirit makes him to steal. He needs deliverance. His siblings are not living with me.”
Elijah, a neighbour who resides around the church, noted that Pastor Taiwo had been warned on several occasions about his cruelty to his son.
“His father has been chaining him for the past six months. He would chain him for hours and release him. His grouse is that Korede steals and runs away from home and he thinks a spirit is controlling the child. He once took him to a river in chains for deliverance.” Elijah said.
Pastor Francis Taiwo could be charged for attempted murder according to police sources. However, SP Muyiwa Adejobi, the spokesperson for the Ogun State Police Command said;
“The case has been transferred to the Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Labour Unit of the command for necessary investigation and actions as directed by the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of zone 2, AIG Abdulmajid Ali.”
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Celestial Church of Christ, in their reaction to the ongoing issue has released a statement today.
According to the statement, the church noted that it will never support any act of child abuse.
Read the statement below;
“Our attention has been drawn to media reports concerning the activities of Prophet Francis Taiwo, Shepherd in Charge, Celestial Church of Christ ( C.C.C ), Key of Joy Parish, Ajiwo at Ajibawo in Ado Odo/Ota local government area of Ogun State. Prophet Francis Taiwo was reported to have chained his nine year old son and starved him of food for months, after the boy was accused of habitual stealing.
“The nine year old boy was eventually rescued by men of the NSCDC who stormed the church premises for that purpose. Latest reports indicate that the culprit, Prophet Francis Taiwo was later arrested by the police with the help of his church members. This report has drawn the ire of the public and our great church has been receiving undeserved flaks therefrom. We are thus compelled to issue this statement to correct whatever misconceptions must have been created about the church, in the minds of the general public, by this shameful and totally unacceptable incident. Let it be known that the Celestial Church of Christ does not condone child abuse and violence of any form.
“We recognise and place a high value on our youths and children as we often acknowledge them as the salt of the earth and a vital part of the future of any organisation, church or nation. Our belief is that children therefore must be raised in an atmosphere of love, Christian values and reasonable parental discipline. The fact that the said Prophet Francis Taiwo was arrested by the Police with the help of his church members lends credence to the fact that our church abhors child abuse, domestic violence and inhumanity of any form. We commend the NSCDC and the Nigerian Police for a job well done, and wish to assure the general public that the Celestial Church of Christ is already looking into the matter and would mete out appropriate disciplinary actions on the culprits. Thank you and may the Lord be with you all.