Sotitobire Miracle Church in Akure, Ondo State, has been set on fire by irate youths over a rumour that the corpse of a one-year-old boy declared missing was exhumed in the church.
It has not been confirmed if the body of the child was found in the church.
The police are said to have intervened in the chaos reportedly shooting an operator of a motorcycle taxi and arresting some journalists who were covering the incident.
In November, Gold Kolawole, the baby, was declared missing during a church service.
According to sources within the church, the boy who was at the children’s department of the church could not be found after the service.
Modupe Kolawole, mother of the child and member of the church, said she suspects foul play in the disappearance of her son.
Alfa Babatunde, founder of the church, was arrested following the incident, and he has been in the custody of the DSS.
He was arrested based on a petition written by the parents of the missing child.
The Ondo state police command have asked residents to disregard the rumour.
In a statement, Femi Joseph, the command’s spokesman, said it is not true that the body of the missing child was exhumed in the church.
”The Ondo State Police Command wishes to inform the general public particularly the People of Ondo State that they should disregard the rumours making the rounds that the body of a recently declared missing boy in the state has been exhumed from Sotitobire church in Akure,” he said.
”It is most unfortunate that this misleading information spearheaded by a popular TV station, has ignited a spontaneous reactions from the people leading to wanton destruction of properties and injuries to many. The church building was also set ablaze by irate youths.
”Some of our officers despatched to the scene to contain the situation were pelted with stones with many of them sustaining injuries. Their patrol vehicle was also badly damaged. This rejoinder became necessary to disabuse the minds of many Nigerians who might have fallen for this wicked lies and propaganda.”