Police detectives in Idanre, Ondo state, have detained a 37-year-old pastor named Kayode Salami in connection with the alleged rape and murder of a nursing mother named Adejoke Oloje.
The deceased left her home in January of this year with her 11-month-old child in order to remain at the church, where she tragically perished.
She was accompanied to the church in Ldanre town by her cousin, Aderonke.
Speaking with newsmen, the mother of the deceased, Mrs Deborah, said her daughter came to visit her in ldanre, only to leave hurriedly and without any notice.
Deborah said “I called her line to ask about her whereabouts, but she didn’t pick up her calls. So, one day, some people told me they saw her in Alade with her cousin, Aderonke.
“I collected Aderonke’s phone number from their grandmother and I called her, but she said Adejoke was staying in the church, not her place.
“I called my daughter’s phone number and she picked it up. I asked for a description of where she was staying and she obliged me.
“I went to the church and eventually found her. She complained about foodstuffs and I promised to bring some for her the following day. I also pleaded with her to leave the place, but she declined and I left.
“The next day, when I got to the church around past 5pm, I heard her child crying profusely. So, I moved close to see what happened.
“I met the door closed. So, I forced it open. To my utmost dismay, I found my daughter on the floor, with her pant already removed down her legs and I shouted for help.”
Deborah said they immediately took her to the hospital where she was confirmed dead by the doctor in the hospital.
” We immediately reported at the police station in Idanre and the policemen swung into action and apprehend the pastor.
“It is a painful story and a sad moment for our family. She was with an 11-month-old child before she met her untimely death. The culprit must not go unpunished.
But in an interview, Pastor Salami, denied raping or killing the nursing mother.
According to her “I knew Adejoke through her sister, Aderonke. They came to my church to worship and they went home. After that day, Adejoke came back on her own to seek accommodation in the church, pending when she would get a place to stay.
” I gave her one room out of the two rooms in the church. I did not ask her what happened between her and her sister, Aderonke.
“There is only one door linking my room and the room was given to her to stay. So, I used to pass through her room. And I always inform her whenever I was going out or coming in.
“We did vigil together in the church and the next morning, I saw her before going to work, because I am a welder.
“She later came to my place of work to charge her phone around 2pm and came to collect it around 4 pm.
“I make use of the room when I have programmes in the church. My family and I rented an apartment outside.
“I did not rape her and I can’t explain how she died.”
When contacted, Funmi Odunlami, a state police spokeswoman, confirmed the heinous crime.
The case has been forwarded to state police headquarters in Akure for additional investigation, Odunlami stated.