The Lagos Command of the Nigeria Police has rescued inmates of a spiritual healing home in the Ijegun axis of the state. Joseph Ojo, a pastor, runs the home which doubles as a church.
Ojo told the police that he established the church, the Blessing of Goodness Healing Church to cater to people with mental illnessness. He explained the inmates, all of whom were chained down, were brought to the home by their relatives.
“The people were chained because of their condition. If I did not chain them, they would run. Many of them had put me in trouble in the past and that was why I chained them”, said the pastor.
He added: “All of them came for prayers and they had been taken to different psychiatric hospitals before they were brought to the church for deliverance”.
The pastor said relatives of the inmates visited them regularly or intermitently and are responsible for their feeding.
One of the resecued inmates, Adewale Adetona, told reporters he was “kidnapped” and taken to the home by his parents.
“I am not happy staying at the church, because I have my own life to live. I am just here; I can’t live my normal life and do what I want to do.”
However, Adetona’s mother defended her action.
“He usually misbehaves and I feel embarrassed about it. I have taken him to hospitals for healing before I heard of the church, where spiritual attacks are sorted out. But, if I told him to follow me there, he would refuse, that was why
I forcefully brought him to the church in March this year and I have been seeing some improvement in his condition.”
Bala Elkana, spokesperson for the Police, said 15 victims and arrested 11 persons were arrested at the church.
“Some of the victims were said to have spent five years in the detention camp. The victims are between ages 19 and 50 and some of them were brought by their families. We have commenced investigation into the matter,” he stated.