A High Court sitting in Akure on Monday, March 16, has refused to hear the bail application of the founder of the Sotitobire Miracle Centre, Akure, Alfa Babatunde.
The Court asked Alfa Babatunde to remain in custody at the Olokuta Correctional Centre, in Akure, pending the commencement of his trial.
Mr Babatunde is charged with aiding the kidnapping of a one-year old, Kolawole Gold, from his church on November 10, 2019 during a Sunday service.
He is standing trial with six other members of the church, who, like him, have pleaded not guilty before the court.
An application for their bail was first made during the resumption of the trial on February 2, but the prosecution counsel had argued that there were multiple applications which made it difficult for him to respond effectively.
The court had asked the defence counsel to finetune the applications so that the prosecution could respond to it.
However, at the resumed sitting on Monday, the trial judge, Olusegun Odusola, would not hear the bail application.
He held that there was no need to entertain the bail application by the defendants’ counsel, Olusola Oke, noting that the court would ensure accelerated hearing of the suit.
The refusal of the court to hear the application unsettled the defence.
The Ondo State Attorney-General, Kola Olawoye, who is prosecuting the case, requested the court to adjourn the case following an appeal filed by the defence counsel seeking to upturn the refusal to grant the accused persons bail at the hearing on February 2.
Both parties later resolved that the appeal should be withdrawn from the appeal court to enable the trial to continue.
The child is missing despite efforts by the police and the DSS to track the kidnappers since November last year.
The parents of the child who were members of the church had accused the prophet and the police of an attempt to cover up the case just before the DSS took the case up.