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The trial of the founder of Sotitobire Miracle center, Prophet Alfa Babatunde and six others will commence on Monday March 16, 2020 (tomorrow) at an Ondo state High Court sitting in Akure over an alleged missing of one year-old boy (Gold Kolawole) inside his church.
The court is expected to hear and rule on the bail application of the defendants in the suit tomorrow.
The Church which is located at Oshinle Quarters of Akure, the state capital, was destroyed by angry mob few months ago after the boy was declared missing late 2019.
The Court had on 3 February, 2020 picked the date after the defendants were arraigned and ordered that they should still be remanded at Nigerian Correctional Centre at Olokuta Akure (formerly Olokuta Prisons).
When they were docked on February 2, Prophet Babatunde and other Church members however pleaded not guilty to counts involving aiding kidnapping of the missing child charged against them.
Other defendants are; Omodara Olayinka, Margaret Oyebola ,Grace Ogunjobi, Egunjobi Motunrayo and Esther Kayode.
All efforts by the counsel for the defendants, Mr Olusola Oke to ensure court granted them bail based on the applications earlier filed were unsuccessful as the the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs Grace Olowoporoku told Justice Ayedun Odusola that the defendants’ counsel filed multiple bail applications that were difficult to treat.
Justice Odusola however asked Mr Oke to fine-tune his bail applications pending the next sitting date so as to commence hearing of the bail application.
The judge adjourned the case till 16,17 and 19 March, 2020 for hearing of bail application.
SUNSHINETRUTH learnt that the road linking the High court as well as the court premises always filled up with residents who came to watch proceedings and trial of the popular Prophet, but security operatives manned the court room where the case was being heard.
It would be recalled that the decision of the court to turn down the clergyman’s bail application negatively changed mood of some church members who had hoped that he would be granted bail on February 2.
Our Correspondent observed that the Sotitobire’s members wore a sad mood while leaving the court but other residents at the court premises were seen jubilating after hearing that the prophet was denied bail.