Reasons why Appeal Court upturned the life imprisonment conviction against Prophet Babatunde Alfa

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Prophet Babatunde Alfa has been set free of the life imprisonment conviction he got after being found guilty over the disappearance of a one-year-old Gold Kolawole in his Church in November 2019. He was set free by the Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital. The ruling of the appeal court threw more light on some important flaws in the previous conviction of Prophet Babatunde Alfa. These sets of flaws were what convinced the Appeal Court to set Prophet Babatunde Alfa free.

During the trial of Prophet Babatunde Alfa, DSS provided video evidence at the court, and in the video evidence, Prophet Babatunde Alfa said that the parents of the missing boy did not follow the church’s normal channel in reporting the case of the missing boy. The pastor had said in the video interview that, it was because the parents of the missing boy did not come begging, stating that the boy could have been found if the parent had begged him. The interrogation in the video was overseen by the operatives of the DSS, headed by one Adekunle Akanbi and the Counsel to the Prophet, Barr Omoware.

The video recording of the statement that was made by Prophet Babatunde Alfa was one of the key pieces of evidence that were used to sentence him to life imprisonment. Although what Prophet Babatunde Alfa said in the video was annoying and highly suspicious, it did not prove that he had a hand in the disappearance of the boy. The video could be interpreted as the statement of an egocentric prophet who believed that the missing boy’s parents are his church members and as such, they should beg him before he could assist in finding their missing child. Such evidence throws more light on the egocentric personality of the prophet, however, it did not confirm that he had a hand in the disappearance of the boy.

One of the main reasons why Prophet Babatunde Alfa was freed by the Appeal Court was because his life imprisonment conviction was largely based on circumstantial evidence. Justice Gamma Barka ruled that the circumstantial evidence the high court based its judgment on was not enough to convict Prophet Babatunde Alfa. Nobody ever saw Prophet Babatunde Alfa or his church workers kidnap Gold Kolawole. As far as we know, Gold Kolawole was kidnapped by some unknown persons. The mother of the missing boy, Modupe Kolawole, accused Prophet Babatunde Alfa of having a hand in the disappearance of her child because neither he nor his church was willing to help the authorities with their investigation into the disappearance of the young boy.

The key factors that led to the conviction of Prophet Babatunde Alfa were the DSS video, his refusal to assist the boy’s parents or the authorities with the investigation into the boy’s disappearance, and the fact that the church workers who were supposed to look after the children that were kept on their care failed to provide any meaningful explanation as to what happened to the boy. Looking at all the points listed above, they all appear to be circumstantial and there is no real evidence to pin the disappearance of the boy on Prophet Babatunde Alfa. So far, it could be said that the prophet and his church workers could be guilty of carelessness, neglect, and failure to provide any meaningful assistance towards locating the boy.