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Controversy Trails Death Of Socialite During Prayer Session At Celestial church

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Few days after the tragic death of a businessman cum socialite, Kayode Badru, who was burnt to death during a prayer session at a parish of the Celestial Church of Christ in Alagbado, a Lagos suburb, his widow, Kofoworola Badru, recalled his last moments in an exclusive interview with KUNLE AKINRINADE while other members of the deceased man’s family demanded justice.

Kofoworola, the widow of Kayode Badru, the businessman cum socialite who died in a parish of the Celestial Church of Christ in Alagbado, Lagos recently had no inkling that a prayer session her husband went for on their wedding anniversary could result in his gruesome death.

Badru, a roundly built successful businessman and socialite who shuttled between Nigeria, Europe and the United Arab Emirates, had hesitated in leaving their palatial residence at No 13 C, Morin Street, New Oko-Oba near Abule Egba on April 26.

”He was restless before he left home on the fateful day. He left our room and returned three times midway the staircase before he finally left,” Kofoworola said.

”He kept saying he forgot something until he finally left home after turning to the room three times.

“He did not eat before he left home, so he asked me to prepare chicken stew and rice for him.

”He told me he was going for prayers at his late mother’s church around Magboro area in Ogun State. He left home around 10 am and promised to come back by 2pm.”

Unknown to his wife of four years, her husband had gone to another Celestial Church parish for the prayers which turned tragic and terminated their four-year-old conjugal bliss.

While Kofoworola was still wondering why her husband had not returned home to eat his favourite meal at 2 pm, cruel fate had played a fast one the Abeokuta-born father of four.

At the church, her husband had clenched his fingers around seven lighted candlesticks and knelt down swathed by seven elders who poured effusive prayers on him to overcome evil.

In the middle of the prayers, the prayer warriors were said to have sprayed him with some spiritual perfume. But before they knew it, the perfume ignited fire which burnt Badru beyond recognition.

He was rushed to the Gbagada General Hospital, where he eventually died on May 4.

“I did not know that he went to another church, the Imole Cathedral of the Celestial Church of Christ. Although the shepherd of the church is his friend and he was the one who facilitated the opening of the church’s branch in Dubai, UAE.

“I became worried when he didn’t return home on time. A few hours later, I was told that he was involved in an accident during the prayers.

”I called his phone at about 2 pm but he didn’t pick his call. At about 5pm, I got a call from the shepherd of the church that my husband was involved in a little accident, and I went to the church.

”At the church, I was told that one of the elders that were praying for my husband sprinkled perfume on him and it triggered fire from the burning candlesticks he was clutching and burnt him.

”On seeing how pathetic my husband’s condition was, I demanded to see the lady who was said to have sprinkled perfume on my husband, but they were just calming me down and did not allow me to see the lady.

“My husband too was calming me down, including the shepherd of the church, Prophet Felix Alebiosu a.k.a. Ebony.

”My husband later developed an infection on his body and he died on May 4, 2021.”

Curiously, when the incident happened, Kofoworola said she was asked by the shepherd of the church, Prophet Felix Alebiosu, not to inform her husband’s family members, assuring her that the situation was under control.

She said: “I was told by Alebiosu not to inform my husband’s family that he was in the hospital. But I eventually did because I couldn’t keep them in the dark for long.

”My husband had no particular parish where he worshipped. He worshipped at any parish he was invited to, and I had accompanied him to worship at this particular church, where he got burnt a few times.

“Besides, he was very close to Alebiosu because he worshipped at a branch of the church in Dubai.

“He is survived by four children. I have two with him while he has two children from his previous marriage.

“He died on our wedding anniversary on May 4; we actually got married on May 4, 2017.”

The 31-year-old widow described her late husband as a man with a large heart even on the sickbed.

”Kayode loved life and was always willing to help people, and he didn’t joke with his children. He had a large heart and always wanted to help people.

“Even on his sickbed in hospital, he was still helping some patients out with their medical bills.”

Recalling his last moments with the deceased, his younger brother, Oluwaseun Badru, also a priest of the Celestial Church of Christ, said there was more to the incident than meets the eye.

“I was called to come see my brother, Kayode Badru, at the Gbagada General Hospital. I saw him in a critical situation.

“When I held his hand to pray for him, he told me that the incident wasn’t natural. He said that he was held down while seven elders of the church were praying for him at the church, and that he felt as if he was in a trance where someone was pouring water on his body. He said that he heard a voice asking him, ‘Is this how you are going to end your life?’ and that he got up to find that he was burning.

“Unfortunately, by the time he got up, the deed had been done as he had been severely burnt. However, my question is where are the seven elders that prayed for him while he was burning? I ask this question because doctors said he was burnt up to the fifth layer of his skin. So, for how long was he held down and how long was the prayer session that those who prayed for him didn’t know that he was burning in their midst?

“I asked the shepherd of the church, Prophet Felix Alebiosu, who led the prayer session for my brother if there were monetary transactions between him and my brother, and he said no. He told me that my brother wasn’t that rich, contrary to what he had earlier told me.

“What baffled me was that my brother told his family he was going to our mother’s parish in Magboro, only for him to visit another parish where he was burnt to death as a result of the perfume poured on him while he was holding candlesticks already lit.”

Oluwaseun urged the police to ensure that justice is served in the matter, noting that other suspects on the run must be arrested and prosecuted.

“Alebiosu and two others have since been arrested and are now in police custody at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, Lagos.

“We heard that the suspects are receiving preferential treatment. However, what we want is justice for our late brother.

“Other fleeing suspects must be arrested and made to face the wrath of the law, because that is the only way justice can be served in this matter.”

Also demanding justice, another younger brother of the deceased, Oluwagbenga Badru, said the circumstances surrounding the death of his elder brother were not real.

He said he suspected foul play and urged the police to carry out thorough investigation and apprehend all those involved in the case with a view to ensuring justice.

He said: “I still find it difficult to believe that perfume was the only substance responsible for my brother’s death. Is it possible for perfume to burn a man up to the fifth layer of his skin without those praying for him perceiving the smoke from the burning?

“Besides, there is another version being bandied by the elders at the prayer session which suggests that the fire started from a burning candle which spread to the spot my brother knelt down and consumed him while praying. So, on this score, the police should arrest all those involved and bring them to book without fear or favour.”

An impeccable source at SCID, Panti, Yaba, confirmed to our correspondent that some persons had been arrested in connection with the case.

“We have arrested the shepherd of the church where the incident took place and two other suspects, and they are in our custody right now. Efforts are being made to arrest other persons involved in the case and carry out a diligent investigation.

“The suspects in our custody will appear before the Deputy Commissioner in charge of SCID this week for proper briefing on the matter.”

Meanwhile, the authorities of the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) has issued a statement blaming the incident on abuse of perfume by members of the church.

The statement issued by the pastor of the church, Rev. Emmanuel Oshoffa, urged the pastor-in-council to prevent such abuse in the future.

The statement reads in part: “Calvary greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ who has called us into His Glory.

“The spraying or pouring of undiluted spiritual perfumes in its volatile state with a lighted candle is an imported culture not originally part of the tenets of the Celestial Church of Christ.

“The laid down usage of spiritual perfume within the spheres of a lighted candle by the pastor founder, Saint SBJ Oshoffa, is by mixing it with water. It is high time we retraced our steps for a greater Celestial Church of Christ.

“We are all advised to adhere to this directive. Any parish or member that goes against this directive will be solely responsible for the resultant effect.

“The pastor has also directed the pastor-in-council to come up with a policy document to curb alien practices that have been introduced into the tenets and doctrines of the church to safeguard the church’s divine culture as instructed by the Spirit of God through the pastor founder,” the statement added.

Source: Nation

 

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Army Rescues More Kidnapped Kebbi Students, Kill Bandit

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The Nigerian Army has confirmed the rescue of more students of the Federal Government College, Yauri, Kebbi State who were kidnapped by bandits on Thursday.

JomogNews Nigeria reports one teacher and three students have been freshly rescued by the military from the custody of the bandits.

This development was confirmed to Naija News in a statement on Sunday by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu.

The statement noted that one teacher and three students were rescued by the military on Saturday while one of the bandits was killed and some items including motorcycles and handsets were recovered.

The Army statement reads: “Troops of the Nigerian Army operating under the auspices of Operation HADARIN DAJI supported by Nigerian Air Force component have rescued more abductees of the FGC Birnin Yawuri.

One teacher and three students were rescued yesterday at Makuku, in the ongoing search and rescue operations.

The troops also killed one bandit and recovered nine motorcycles and four handsets from the fleeing bandits.

Additional troops have also been deployed to dominate the forest and deny the bandits freedom of action.”

It will be recalled that two teachers and five students were earlier on Friday 18 June 2021 rescued by the gallant troops in a coordinated firefight with the kidnappers.

 

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14 Gunmen Killed As Security Officers Repel Attack On Police Station In Benue

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At least 14 gunmen were killed by the police in a foiled attack on Kastina-Ala police station, Kastina-Ala LGA of Benue state.

Catherine Anene, police spokesperson in Benue, confirmed the incident in a statement on Sunday.

She said the attackers numbering up to 50, invaded the police station in the early hours on Sunday to rescue some of their members arrested and detained on Saturday.

The police spokesperson said the officers on duty, however, repelled the attack, killing 14 of them.

“On 19th June 2021, five bandits were arrested and detained at Kastina-Ala Police Division for investigation and prosecution,” she said.

“On 20th June 2021 at about 0130 hrs more than 50 other gang members of the detainees mobilised and invaded the police station to rescue their counterparts.

“Officers at the division who were already at alert engaged them in a gun duel and were able to subdue the bandits.
“Fourteen of them were brought down during the exchange of fire, while several others escaped with gunshot injuries.

Anene said the command has launched a series of operations to rid of criminal elements in the LGA.

In recent times, communities in Benue have been targeted by gunmen.

Early this month, over 20 people were killed in Odugbeho community in Agatu LGA of the state.

In May, over 30 people were reportedly killed — including students of the College of Education — in Katsina Ala LGA of the state.

 

 

 

 

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Stop Tinubu From Controlling Alpha Beta – Ex-MD, Dapo Apara Begs Court

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A former Managing Director of Alpha Beta LLP, Mr. Dapo Apara, has filed a suit before a Lagos State High Court asking it to stop a former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, from controlling the finances of Alpha Beta.

In the suit filed by Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN) on behalf of Apara on Wednesday, the former MD alleged that Tinubu controls Alpha Beta, a tax consulting firm that monitors and generates revenue on behalf of the Lagos State Government.

The ex-Alpha Beta boss had in 2020 filed a suit before the court but withdrew it before filing it a second time after making amendments.

Apara, who had in 2018, written a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission accusing Alpha Beta of tax fraud, asked the court to compel the firm to pay him his entitlements even as he alleged that Tinubu was the one that got him removed from his position as MD for investigating the firm’s finances.

Apart from Tinubu, others named as defendants in the suit included Alpha Beta and the current Managing Director, Mr Akin Doherty, who is also a former Commissioner for Finance in Lagos State.

The claimant is seeking eight reliefs including “A declaration that the 2nd defendant (Tinubu), not being a named partner of the 1st defendant (Alpha Beta), is not entitled to direct or influence the affairs of the 1st defendant in such a way that will deprive the claimant (Apara) of his profits and entitlements from the 1st defendant.

“An order directing the defendants herein, to render an account of all sums due to the claimant from the defendants, from 2010 to date (and) an order tracing all funds and assets due to the claimant from the defendants herein from the inception of the 1st defendant till date.

“An order of specific performance of Clause 8 and 11.0 of the partnership agreement that created the 1st defendant by extant partners; an order for payment to the claimant by the 1st and 3rd defendants, of all sums adjudged to be due to the claimant from the said 1st and 3rd defendants on the submission of the accounts.

“A perpetual injunction restraining the 2nd defendant (Tinubu), from directing, influencing or in any other manner running the affairs of the 1st defendant (Alpha Beta) in such a way that will deprive the claimant of his profit and entitlements from the 1st defendant (Alpha Beta), the 2nd defendant not being a partner of the 1st defendant.

“Ten per cent interest in ruling (5) above; and cost of this suit of N10m.”

In the statement of claim, Apara also narrated how Alpha Beta was allegedly formed in 2002 when Tinubu was still the governor of Lagos State.

The claimant said he was the one who came up with the idea of a consulting firm to help the state government to track and reconcile taxes.

“The claimant (Apara) avers that sometime in about the year 2000, he solely conceived, prepared and presented a proposal to the Lagos State Government on providing consultancy services using his registered firm, Infiniti Systems Enterprises, with respect to using computer technology to track and reconcile the Internally Generated Revenue of the state.

“The claimant avers that following the presentation of his proposal to the Lagos State Government, the second defendant (Bola Ahmed Tinubu) who was at the time the governor of Lagos State, demanded that 70 per cent equity interest in the project be assigned to a certain Olumide Ogunmola on his (Tinubu’s) behalf before he, the second defendat, would approve the project,” Apara said in his statement.

The former Alpha Beta boss claimed Tinubu nominated Adegboyega Oyetola and one Olumide Ogunmola.

He said due to the technological innovation that was deployed by him, the IGR of the state grew from N10bn per annum in 2002 to N300bn in 2019.

The claimant stated that in 2010 or thereabout, Tinubu directed that the incorporation structure of the Alpha-Beta Consulting Ltd be changed from a limited liability company to a limited liability partnership under a newly promulgated law in Lagos State.

He said the aim of the move was to shield Tinubu’s involvement from public scrutiny.

Apara said as the head of the company, he began looking into its finances and he made many startling discoveries such as mysterious transfers of over N20bn in different currencies to several companies.

The former Alpha Beta boss said he realised that all the payments were sanctioned by the partners nominated by Tinubu and they were done without his knowledge, contrary to the terms of their partnership.

Apara stated that Tinubu was furious that he was looking into the company’s finances and ordered that he be demoted to deputy managing partner.

He said he refused to obey this order and this led to a feud between the both of them.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Both Tinubu and Alpha Beta had last year described Apara’s allegations as spurious.

The company had alleged that Apara was relieved of his position because he was involved in fraud.

A statement by the firm read in part, “The fact is that Dapo Apara began making his untrue allegations in the aftermath of his removal as Managing Director of Alpha Beta for fraud and unethical practices.

“While he was MD, Apara used his position to siphon huge sums of money from the company including but not limited to fraudulently converting $5m; money allegedly used to pay for cloud-based services that were eventually discovered to be worth less than $300,000.

“In July 2018, further evidence of his fraudulent and unethical practices was uncovered, including the revelation that he converted approximately N6bn belonging to Alpha Beta to his personal use.”

Punch.

 

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