Francis Taiwo, the cleric of the Celestial Church of Christ, who chained and starved his nine-year-old son for up to a month, and was recently arrested, has given reasons for his action.
Upon interrogation, the 40-year-old pastor told the police from the Onipanu division on Sunday that he took the action because he believed his son, Korede Taiwo, was possessed with a ‘stealing spirit’ known in Yoruba language as ’emi ole’
Speaking at his church – CCC, Key of Joy Parish – in Ajibawo, Atan, in the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, where he was apprehended, 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.”
Also speaking, Korede, who appeared emaciated after he was rescued on Friday from the church premises where he was chained during a joint operation by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the police, said:
“It is true that I stole a pot of soup and a bowl of eba in our house. I also stole in the neighbourhood. My father’s inability to give money to my stepmother for the upkeep of the family caused it. When I was chained, my father and stepmother fed me twice a day. Some days, I was not given any food. I want to go back to school because I want to be a doctor in the future. I do not want to go back to my father’s house.”
The police spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi, stressed that Francis would be charged with attempted murder, among other offences, after the completion of investigation.
“The pastor may be charged with attempted murder. His action was capable of killing the boy,” the police source said.