Inside church where 9-year-old was chained •Neighbours desert vicinity I regret my action- Father

Korede inset on the church

The father who chained his son for months has claimed ignorance over the consequences of his actions, even as the boy has been handed over to appropriate government authorities.

The Ogun State Police Command handed over Korede to the care of the state government through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, on Monday.

The handing over was done by the officer-in-charge of the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, SP Oluwatoyosi Bello to the officials of the ministry within the premises of the Police Mobile Force Base, Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta.

The boy has since been taken to the Stella Obasanjo’s Home in Ibara.

Korede’s step-mother, Kehinde Taiwo
Korede’s step-mother, Kehinde Taiwo

The command’s spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi disclosed that the victim after the rescue mission, said he did not wish to return to his father’s house, and that the First Lady, Mrs Olufunso Amosun, has indicated interest in taking care of the boy.

He said that the AIG, Mr. Abdulmajid Ali, has ordered thorough investigation of the matter and that the suspects be charged to court.

“The officer in charge has just taken over the case today and we assure you the command will do proper investigation and we won’t waste time on that. The man will be charge to court; the step mum is also a suspect in the case so the command will charge two of them accordingly.

“The command was not happy that the boy was chained by his father for more than a month. If you look at the weight of the chain coupled with the weight of the padlock, you will know is too heavy for that boy. The boy is a rugged person and I am very sure God has a purpose of spearing his life. By the time police and Civil Defence rescued the boy, he couldn’t stand for hours, he was so weak, until he was taken to Onipanu Division of Ota by the DPO of the area and after the treatment he was able to stand on his feet.”

“It is a terrible case, apart from being criminal is inhuman, and the command condemns that in totality. The AIG has directed that the matter be thoroughly investigated. We want to assure the members of the public that the matter will be thoroughly investigated and we want to take the case very seriously because it must serve as deterrent to those who want to venture into this criminal act.

“Presently the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development will take over the boy from us because Korede said he was not going back to his family. The government has shown interest. I have received calls from the office of the First Lady of Ogun State and by the time we hand him over to the Ministry, I am very sure the first lady and the government will take over.”

The officer in charge of the Anti-Human Trafficking of the Command, SP Oluwatoyosi Bello handing over Korede to the Director of Social Welfare Services, Mr.  Shotubo Olumide.
The officer in charge of the Anti-Human Trafficking of the Command, SP Oluwatoyosi Bello handing over Korede to the Director of Social Welfare Services, Mr. Shotubo Olumide.

The Director of Social Welfare Services, Mr. Shotubo olurotimi Olumide, who received Korede from the police, assured that the Ministry would take care of the boy.

Korede’s father, Taiwo, said that he did not know the implication of his action and that he regretted it.

His words: “I didn’t know there is punishment for my action, but now I know. I regret my action. I want forgiveness from the government”.

The step mum of Korede, Kehinde Taiwo pleaded with the government to forgive her and husband.

He said, “We used to advise him but because we didn’t know the implication that time, that was the reason we chained him. I want to beg  the government to forgive us.”

Atan-Ota is a community in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, and one of the areas within it is Ajibawo.

The area came to limelight last week Friday, when news filtered in about a father who chained one of his sons for several months because of his stealing habit.

The father who was said to be a bricklayer turned pastor, Francis Taiwo in connivance with his wife, Kehinde, locked up and chained the young boy, Korede Taiwo, for reasons best known to them.

The whole area of Ajibawo on the other side of Atan-Idiroko highway is springing up with new houses, but one can count the number of houses already occupied by the owners. They are just about six, including the Taiwos’ place.

The entire house was deserted on Monday afternoon, when Nigerian Tribune visited. The few people seen were carrying out their normal businesses.

The church where the crime was perpetrated was equally deserted. Not a single soul was seen.

Nigerian Tribune was taken round the premises by officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), who had been following the case since it was discovered.

Chief Sylvester Agboola, Asiwaju of Egun people, Ajibawo
Chief Sylvester Agboola, Asiwaju of Egun people, Ajibawo

Within the premises of the church were two other structures, but the room where the nine year-old boy was caged for months was part of the church building.

Nigerian Tribune discovered that inside the room where young Korede was locked were blocks, two “Ghana Must Go Bags”, while the floor of the small room was full of sand.

The harrowing experience and trauma the boy underwent in the hands of his father and step-mother could better be imagined.

There was no one around to speak with on the matter as the few people seen were not willing to talk.

However, the Asiwaju of Egun people in Ajibawo, Chief Sylvester Agboola, described the action of Pastor Taiwo as inhuman and wicked acts.

Agboola said Taiwo had carried out similar action on his first child some years back, and that it took his intervention and that of other members of the community before the boy was released from “captivity”.

“When I learnt about this incident, I was shocked. This is the second time Francis will be so wicked to his children. The first case was brought to my notice when his neighbour alerted me.

“I told him about the implication of this act and he released the boy. I cannot imagine him repeating this wicked act again. It is so unfortunate.

“The entire Egun people in Ajibawo are very unhappy. This man has brought stain to our name and that is why he must face the law. How can one chain his child? Does he know what the boy will become? We are very unhappy and we urge the security agencies to investigate the matter thoroughly.”

Following the rescue of nine-year-old Korede Taiwo, last Friday through the joint effort of police officers and operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), child rights advocate and rights activists have called that states within the federation toe the line of the Federal Capital territory by domesticating the Child Rights Act.

While condemning the act of the father, Taiwo Francis and the society that allows people under the guise of religion to perpetrate evil, they called on state Houses of Assembly to take steps to quickly pass the Child Rights Act into law in all the States of the Federation.

Further, they asked that the law be applied in its full weight to treat the case of the pastor and asked that the child be taken by the state government so that his abusive parents will not destroy his future.

They further asked for an aggressive campaign that will educate parents that most acts of punishment is an abuse against the child and also explain to them that the fact that one