A Nigerian pastor who's also a teacher has been arrested after he was accused of killing his "secret lover" and burying her in his unfinished church.
Ogun State Commissioner of Police Ahmed Iliyasu told local media that Oluwatobiloba Ipense, pastor of the Holy Gathering Evangelical Church of God in the Ewekoro area of the Ogun State, and his accomplice Daniel Sopeju were arrested last week after authorities discovered the body of a missing woman inside the church.
According to Nigeria's Daily Trust newspaper, Iliyasu explained that the perpetrator decapitated his victim, Rialat Sanni, and chopped off her hands before burying her slaughtered body inside of the uncompleted church building.
Authorities say that Sanni, a divorcee with five children, was Ipense's secret lover.
"The case was reported by one Adebola Saheed that his younger sister, Raliat Sanni, left home since 21st [of] March and was yet to return," the commissioner was quoted as saying. "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 explained an analysis of the case found that Ipense was the last person to have had contact with the woman. He was arrested and interrogated.
"In the course of interrogation, the pastor confessed to killing the victim and burying her inside his church after removing her head and two hands for reasons only known to him and God," Iliyasu said, according to the online newspaper Daily Post.
It was during the interrogation that Ipense named an accomplice.
"This is the height of wickedness that can be meted out to a fellow human being," Ilyasu said. "It will interest you to know that the victim was a secret lover to the pastor who eventually hacked her to death."
"I appeal to the people to be always watchful of those they associate with and always disclose their movements to at least one person close to them no matter how confidential the movement in order to prevent occurrence of this type of dastardly act," the commissioner continued.
Ipense and his church are affiliated with the Cherubim and Seraphim denominational movement. Ipense also teaches at a nearby high school.
Although the police commissioner claims that Ipense confessed to the crime during the interrogation, Ipense told reporters as he and Sopeju were being paraded around by police that it was Sopeju who committed the murder and cut off the woman's head and hands.
Ipense also said that the woman was killed during an initiation process to join Sopeju's cult faction. Yet, Sopeju denied any involvement with Ipense, according to the Daily Post.
Vanguard newspaper reports that Ipense had claimed that Sopeju led seven members of the occult group to his house with the hope of pressuring him to become a member.
He alleges that they asked him to submit names of his church members. He claims that they later selected Sanni from the list of names.
"It is not true that I killed a woman, it was one Mr. Sopeju and a woman that wanted to initiate me into their occultic group and they said they are going to collect a ransom," Ipense was quoted as saying.
"So they collected names of my members and picked the name of Rialat Sanni. Having mentioned her name, they asked me where she was living and I told them she was living in Wasimi. They later got her and brought her to my church."
Ipense said that Mr. Sopeju beheaded the woman with a knife.
"After beheading her he collected her blood and put it in seven calabashes," Ipense alleged.
The victim's brother, Saheed Adegbola, told Vanguard that his mother initially went to Ipense to ask about her daughter's whereabouts. Adegbola explained that the pastor told his mother that Sanni owed him the equivalent of over $500.
"He claimed that she borrowed the money from him," the brother said. "He even told my dad that they should go to the police station together to report, but my mother told him not to worry."
Source : Christianpost