No fewer than fifteen victims have been rescued from an illegal spiritual healing centre at the Isheri Osun area of Ijegun in Lagos State by the police.
Known as the ”Blessings of Goodness Healing Church”, the centre is said to habour about twenty victims, some of whom have been in chains since 2014.
According to the police public relations officer in Lagos, Bala Elkana, the chained victims are barely able to walk and had to be removed first before law enforcement personnel evacuated the rest.
Elkana said the pastor, Joseph Ojo, has been arrested for allegedly using his church as a detention centre for mentally ill persons and persons suffering from various ailments and social vices.
Ojo was arrested after the victims who were chained inside a building on his church premises, were rescued by men of the Lagos State Police Command, led by the Divisional Police Officer, Isheri-Osun Division.
Speaking to reporters, Ojo said the victims were chained because of their condition. He added that their parents brought them to the church for healing.
He said, “The people were chained because of their condition. If I did not chain them, they would run. Many of them had put me in trouble in the past and that was why I chained them. When I see that they are healed, I unchain them.
“This is not a psychiatric hospital; all of them came for prayers and they had been taken to different psychiatric hospitals before they were brought to the church for deliverance. I saw the medical papers of some of them and it was when their parents tried conventional medicine and they were not cured that they brought them here.
“We do chain them for around three to four months and it is their families that do feed them; some of their family members come every day; some weekly, and some live with their children in the church. You may think that they are healed; for instance, one of them carried a big stone and wanted to use it to break another person’s head before he was stopped.”