Details on how a Nigerian pastor, Oluwatobiloba Ipense killed his church member and lover in Ogun state with the help of another pastor have emerged. In a report by Saturday Independent, the pastor revealed shocking details of the incident in his confession to the police.
Here is the full report by Saturday Independent:
It was on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon, the call came through the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Abimbola Oyeyemi of a pending journey to Papalanto in Ewekoro Local Government Area of the state, but many people knew not what was at stake.
The State Commissioner of Police, CP Ahmed Iliyasu, accompanied by a senior brother to Governor Ibikunle Amosun of the state, Alhaji Abidoye Amosun, led the way to a church, Holy Gathering Evangelical Church of God, a Cherubim and Seraphim church, located in a busy area at the neighbourhood of the popular cement factory in the area, Lafarge Cement Company.
The team was welcomed by hundreds of residents who thronged the scene, obviously in anticipation of what becomes of their two neighbours; one late, the other in police net. Grief were written on faces while women wailed as the police brought out two gentle-looking men with handcuff from one of the vehicles and the real reason for the journey started unfolding.
A young man, Adeola Saheed had on 26th of March reported at the Divisional Police Headquarters in Ewekoro, a case of his sister, Raliat Sanni, a mother of five, who was missing five days earlier after leaving the house.
The CP said: “The case was reported by one Adebola Saheed that his younger sister, Raliat Sanni a divorcee left home since 21st March and had yet to return.
“On the strength of the report, our operatives at Ewekoro Division led by the Divisional Police Officer, Oluwarotimi Jeje, swung into action and embarked on technical intelligence investigation.”
Iliyasu said the principal suspect, Oluwatobiloba Ipense who was the pastor of the Church, was arrested following a discreet analysis of facts surrounding the disappearance of the victim, as he was the last person that had contact with her.
Iliyasu said further that, in the course of interrogation, the pastor confessed killing the victim, alongside another acclaimed Prophet, Daniel Sopeju, the spiritual head of Oba Onimajemu Celestial Church in Iyaya Egbado, and buried her remains inside the church after removing her head and two hands.
It was time to hear from the principal suspect who was alleged to have had secret affairs with the victim and he minced no words giving a detailed account of the incident.
Although Ipense, a school teacher, denied any involvement in the killing of his late secret lover, he however narrated how the unfortunate incident started. He said, he was requested by Prophet Sopeju to submit the names of his church members, one of which would be used as a ransom for a proposed initiation into a cult group.
The name of the victim was picked and detail of her address released to them but according to him, with a threat to bear the consequence if he dares tell anybody about the covenant.
It was an evil day as Sopeju appeared, mysteriously according to the suspect, around 11pm within the church premises with seven other members of the cult dressed in occult regalia with each carrying a calabash and a woman amongst them carrying a bigger calabash painted in black and white.
According to him, the victim was there and then slaughtered like a ram and the blood collected in the seven calabashes before the head and hands were completely severed and placed in the bigger calabash.
Ipense said he was ordered back into his house, from where he was ordered out, while the cult members ‘prepare’ the body, dug a shallow grave inside one of the church rooms and buried the remains of the victim.
His words: “They said they wanted to take me to an occult covenant and they said they are going to collect a ransom and they collected the names of my members and pick the name of a woman they are going to take.
“Having taken her name they asked me where she was living and I told them she was living at Wasinmi and on the 21st of March around 11pm, one of them came to knock at my door at my residence saying that some people are waiting for me in the church.
“On getting there, I saw Mr Sopeju and the woman with other seven cult members that I can’t identify, those ones were putting on black and red rope with seven calabash with them.
“I was asking Mr Sopeju how he got to the church because I didn’t see any vehicle and I also saw the woman they picked from the church members, she was standing aside and her face covered with red cloth.
“On that very day, I still ask from Sopeju how he got there and he said ‘Ohun ti agba finjeko, abe ewe lowa’ (meaning, his source of power is secretive), because they didn’t bring any vehicle to my house and at the church, he was at the spirit mountain that night because he started that one on the 21st of March through 26th.
I asked him that he didn’t inform me the woman would be killed and he said, they can’t tell me everything they had planned to do.
“After collecting the blood, the head and two hands were severed I was already shaking at that time and couldn’t hold it again, they noticed this and told me to go back to my room. I asked them what do they intend to do with the woman’s head and hands, they said, there are other members that must partake in what they’ve done and that they are going to share it.
“Another woman that was standing with him was holding a big calabash painted white, it was in the white calabash they put the hands and the head and told the woman to hold the calabash very well that it mustn’t touch the ground.
“I asked them what they are going to do with the remaining body, they asked me to go and that I have already completed the first stage of what they asked me to do.
“I returned to my room, and came back to the church without seeing any trace of where was dug, it was on Sunday morning that I saw a place that was cracked inside the church room, I took a shovel and ‘remove the sand’, I was suspicious since the ground swell up, I saw the woman with the white cloth they used to cover her.
“Because it was time for service, I covered her, went to the back of the church, dug more ground for the corpse and I was pondering what I am going to do about it until when it was Wednesday when I was at the church after returning from the school, the police came to arrest me.
“I denied at first but later when they got to my site, they discovered the corpse of the woman and I revealed everything to them.
“I couldn’t tell anybody because I was forwarned of the consequence but I have to open up when I discovered my wife and some church members were suffering.”
But before the police and the team would depart from the crime scene, angry youths who thronged the area descended on the church and reduced it to rumbles.
Although danger was looming from the uncoordinated demolition, the youths were resolute and determined as the structure was brought to the ground.
Other rooms within the church were also ransacked where fetish items including black soap, charms, etc were recovered.
When asked about the item, the suspect said, “I am the owner of the apartment but the black soap you see on the wall wasn’t fetish. I am not aware of other fetish items seen in the church they were not there when the police came.
“I really regret my action and I don’t know if this is part of the consequences of revealing the truth as they’ve threatened.”
The next question was how Ipense knew Sopeju before he was invited to the cult group and he said, “I didn’t know the guys before now until about December and what happened was that they also have the C and S church as I am having, it was some of my members living around them that introduced me to them, it was particularly Mrs Oluwakemi Isola who introduced me to this man.”
The Prophet spoke in Yoruba, he said, “I am 42 years and I am a Pastor. I didn’t cut off any head and I wasn’t involved in the crime because I only saw him twice first in December and February during a festival, I don’t know anything about the crime until I was arrested.”
He also denied being a member of any cult group.
When Independent Saturday visited the area for investigation, many members of the community were afraid of talking to the press and the school where Ipense teaches Accounting and Commerce, Methodist High School (Private) in Arigbajo, was under lock and key.
But a neighbour to the late hairdresser, Hameed Adegboye, summoned courage and demanded what the community was expecting from government and police. Obviosly ignorant of the law or felt so much aggrieved about the incident, Adegboye, wanted a summary execution of the suspects.
He said angrily, “the victim resided in front of my shop and she was a very nice person. What we really want from the government is to do justice to the case.
“We don’t even want the guy in court, we want him killed immediately because he has brought grief into the family. The victim has little kids and we don’t want the matter to be handled with levity.
“There are many of these useless churches in the bush, the government should work on them, that is why we have the government.”