The police in Lagos have commenced investigations into the death of a 67-year-old cleric, Monday Ojajuni, who was allegedly killed by a woman, Temidayo Oladele, in front of his church in Mile 12.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the deceased, who was the Superintendent Evangelist of Celestial Church of God, Mile 12, died during a confrontation with Oladele over the latter’s decision to scoop some sand in front of his church.
The 19-year-old daughter of the deceased, Oluwaseun, said she witnessed the incident on July 19, 2013.
She said, “The woman (Oladele) came to pack sand in front of the church and another cleric, Assistant Superintendent Evangelist Samuel Oteghene, told her not to pack the sand. When my father arrived at the scene, Oteghene went inside.
“But the woman rebuffed all entreaties not to pack the sand, instead, she turned violent and tore my father’s robe.
“My father then told her that she would run mad within seven days. When she heard this, she pushed my father and he fell, hitting hit his head on the ground and died. I reported the matter at Mile 12 Police Post. From there it was transferred to Ketu Police Station.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that members of the church had earlier prayed for Monday with the hope that he would wake up, but to no avail.
It was learnt it was after a medical doctor confirmed Monday’s death that it dawned on them that he was beyond redemption.
Police sources said Ketu Police Division had arrested Oladele, while the case had also been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba.
At the SCID, the suspect, who claimed to be 65 years, said she did not kill the cleric. She explained that he died during a struggle with her.
She said, “Around 11.30am on Friday, I went with a shovel to the front of the church which is behind my house to pack some sand. I was challenged by members of the church.
“The pastor (Monday) started struggling for the shovel with me. The shovel tore his clothes. He cursed me, saying that I would die within the next seven days. We struggled until he fell to the ground and I left. I did not injure him and I did not know that he was dead until later.”
Our correspondent, who visited Monday’s family home on Omobanta Street, Mile 12, observed as sympathisers condole with the family.
A banner, hanging in front of the house, displayed the picture of the deceased. The banner read, ‘Monday Elijah Ojajuni, 1947-2013, Rest in Peace’
The eldest son of the deceased, Moses, described his father as an easy-going man.
He said, “My father was fasting on that day, but he went to the church to conduct a programme. Who would have known that that was the last time we would see him?”
He said his father was survived by 11 children and two wives, many of whom were still dependent on him.
“My father was a retired civil servant. He worked at the Lagos State Ministry of Works for many years. He had four sons and seven daughters,” he said.
He added that the suspect’s account of what happened on the day was not correct.
He said, “The woman had earlier come to pack sand from the front of our church prior to my father’s death and she had been warned not to come back.
“After my father confronted her, he attempted to go back into the church, but she pulled him by the cape. Because it rained on that day, the sand was slippery, causing him to hit his head against the ground.”
Our correspondent, who also visited the church, observed a condolence register in front of the church gate.
The members, however, refused to talk to our correspondent, saying they had left everything to God.
When contacted on the telephone, the Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Damasus Ozoani, confirmed Oladele’s arrest.
He said the matter was being investigated at the Homicide Department of the SCID.