A Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square annex has heard how family members of the late pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, allegedly murdered by two teenagers, found out about his death.
Justice Sherifat Sonaike had remanded the two defendants, Farouk Mohammed, 16, and Kasali Jamiu, 19 after they were charged with the murder of the 46-year old pastor.
The were first charged on January 12, 2022, before a Yaba Chief Magistrate’s Court alongside two others, Mumuni Toheeb, 21, and Mubarak Soliu, 20, for allegedly receiving a Spark S Techno phone valued at N60,000, property of the deceased.
At the resumption of proceedings the younger brother of the deceased Pastor, Michael Dada was led in evidence by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Babajide Martins.
“My name is Dada Omoniyi Michael, the younger brother to pastor Babatunde Dada. I am a teacher, 33 years old.
“On the 2nd of December 2021, I received a call from my younger sister, Oluwakemi Dada who lived with my deceased brother. She was screaming on the phone, that my brother is lying in a pool of blood in the church.
“Before getting to the church, she called me back that my brother has been taken to Navy Town hospital where they had taken the body. There I found him already confirmed dead”, Michael said.
He affirmed that Babatunde Dada was a worker in the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Resurrection Chapel, 6th Avenue, Festac Town, Lagos.
Michael continued, “I asked her what happened, she told me that there were two strange boys working with them whom the church had accommodated.
“According to her, when she interrogated my deceased brother about them, he said they are new converts and the church had accommodated them in the church premises and he said he didn’t want the two boys to be stranded or roaming around the church premises so decided to engage them in his laundry business.
“The two boys started working with him and were going to be paid. According to my sister Oluwakemi, on that fateful day, my deceased brother told her and the other laundry workers he is going to the bank and that he will be back.
“She said when he came back, he went upstairs in the church to go and rest, she was now thinking why her brother had not come down after resting for quite sometime. One of the laundry workers went up to pick a cloth to wash, on getting there, he screamed. I asked my sister, why they were not listening, they said generator was on.
“The worker screamed and called the rest, they all met the pastor in a pool of blood and he was coughing out blood. They noticed that the two strange boys, Farouk and Jamiu were not there.”
Michael said he asked about the deceased’s phone but it was nowhere to be found and some of the deceased’s belongings.
“I quickly got in contact with the pastor in charge, he continued by then the news had spread. Later in the day, the pastor in charge and his wife came to confirm his body at the Navy Town hospital. The matter was reported to Festac police station.
During cross examination by the counsel of the first defendant, Oyekanmi Isijola, asked the witness how he got to know about the incident. The witness confirmed that the whole incident was related to him by his sister, as he didn’t witness it.
Also counsel to the second defendant, Spurgeon Ataene asked if the witness, knew when the two boys were engaged to work in the laundry service of the church.
“I do not know, I am only aware of the incident of Dec 2nd and it was communicated to me by my sister”, He further confirmed.
The court could not proceed with the second witness, Inspector Daniel Olumuyiwa, because his name was not included in the list of witnesses.
Justice Shonaike adjourned the case till Dec 12, 2022 for the hearing of the bail applications of the defendants and also fixed January 10, 2023 for continuation of their trial.
The defendants were arraigned on four counts bordering on conspiracy to murder, murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery.
Dr Martins told the court that the defendants conspired among themselves and allegedly killed the deceased on December 2, 2021, around 12noon, at the RCCG, Road 13, 6th Avenue, FESTAC area of Lagos.
He said they killed the deceased by hitting him on the head with a wooden plank and a bottle.
The prosecutor also told the court that the duo robbed the deceased of his bag and a mobile phone.
The defendants pleaded not guilty.