Seventy seven persons have been reportedly found in an underground apartment of a church in the Valentino Area of Ondo town, Ondo State, on Friday evening.

The victims were rescued by police officers and Amotekun agents who swung into action after making the discovery.

The police said that the victims comprised 23 children and 54 others including teenagers and adults, males and females.

A pastor and members of the church have been apprehended in relation to the incident.

According to a statement issued by the president of Ekimogun Youths Connect, Mr Famakinwa Lucaskakaki,the victims were kept in the custody of the church for over six months.

The statement read in part, “About 14:00hrs of yesterday, Friday 1st of July, 2022, I was reliably informed that a particular Church in Valentino, Ondo City, called ‘Ondo Church’ , locked people up in the church for over six months, telling them that Jesus Christ will come and meet them by September this year.

“The National President of the Great Constitutional Rights and Justice Forum, in person of Comrade Omotayo Omolayo, was also briefed and we mobilised down to the venue and we met about 50 people locked up in the church.

“The church has rooms where the pastor locked his members. The process of rescuing these ones with the help of Police officers, Amotekun, Atariajanaku and vigilante group, caused a lot of pandemonium that the people under lock started beating us.

 The state Police Public Relations Officer of the state command, Mrs Funmilayo Odunlami, has confirmed the incident , adding that the victims have been taken to the Akure headquarters of the command.

“I don’t have the details yet but they are bringing the victims to the headquarters. I will give you the details as soon as I get it from the DPO,” the PPRO stated.

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