Some of the victims rescued from an underground Church at Valentino area of Ondo town, in Ondo West Local Government Area of the state, by the men of state Police Command have refused to leave police custody.
Niger Delta Connect reported that no fewer than 77 people compromising 54 adults and 23 Children were allegedly hypnotized, abducted and kept in the underground cell in of the church known as Whole Bible Believer Church by the pastor of the Church, Anifowose David and his 45-year-old assistant, Josiah Peter.
Niger Delta Connect gathered that the assistant pastor, Josiah Peter, claimed rapture was going to take place by September, hence he encouraged the church members to stay behind in the church.
Briefing Journalists on Monday in Akure on the latest development, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Funmilayo Odunlami said despite different appeals, the victims vow to remain in the police custody until their pastor and his assistant are released.
Odunlami said: “Some of the parents said if not for what happened, they were not aware that their children have left school while some said they were aware that their children were in church but didn’t know the church.
“Despite all our thoughts, some of this victims refused to go home, saying they are ready to remain in the police custody until their pastor and his assistant are released.
“We are trying to work out modalities on what to do to them to get them rehabilitated. We have over 10 who have refused to go home”.
She added that the pastor, Anifowose David and his 45-year-old assistant, Josiah Peter will be charged to court upon completion of investigation.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development in the state, Adebunmi Osadaun said the government is working out modalities to rehabilitate those that need rehabilitation and might go legally by taking custody of the children.
She said: “We just interviewed some of the children who are between aged 11 to 17 years old. The way they spoke seems they have been hypnotized. They speak with so much confidence that God will soon come (rapture) and they are on a 7 day camp. They have not eaten for seven days and they still want to go on fasting.
“What baffles me as a mother is that these children are already hardened from the interview we conducted with them. They are indoctrinated. Some of the parents of the children even told us that they left the church when they started seeing some strange things. We also want to know if the Pastor partially believe there should be no education, then was his own children not educated and we were made to know that he has two children who are educated and graduated and now equally members of the church”, Osadaun stressed.
The commissioner noted that, “the parents also alleged that the children refused to take immunisation and the children confirmed that. They said it’s evil to take immunisation.
“We also want to have a data base of the children through family tracing from the Ministry so that we can get how these children were hypnotised and indoctrinated. And if they need rehabilitation, then we would have to go legally by taking custody of the children.
“The way some of the children are talking, so of them should even be taken to the rehabilitation homes. They are living in different world entirely. They look so wired”.