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Robbers kill Pastor inside Church
By Wisdom Patrick, Senior Correspondent, Lagos (Aug 1, 2007)

The presiding shepherd of Ajegunle branch of the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) along Lagos - Abeokuta expressway, Pastor Michael Omoniyi has been murdered by a four-man robbery gang who invaded his church.

The man of God according to a witness had just finished performing an assignment for a visitor, which lasted two days, when the dare devil robbers struck.

"When the visitor left early in the morning of that fateful day, the pastor decided to rest for a while in the church. Not more that ten minutes later, I heard people shouting that nobody should move. Who want to die? We are armed robbers," the witness said.

The witness who gave his name as Sunday Yemi, said he was the Personal Assistant to the slain pastor.

According to him, Pastor Omoniyi was shot when he was trying to run away. Yemi said the pastor was sleeping when the robbers arrived. When he woke up, he was still feeling sleepy, hence, he did not know what to do, so he tried to run away but the robbers shot him.

The witness said the pastor was shot from behind and he slumped and died instantly.

"The robbers then told me to go and bring all the money in the church or else I would die like my brother (pastor) but I told them that I donít handle money and they started beating me.

"I then told them that I have N5, 000, which was my own personal money, they said I should bring it, I gave it to them before they stopped beating me.

"Thereafter, they asked me to take them to the office of my boss, but I told them to allow me to see how I can help the man they shot, but they told me that the man is dead. They said they were very sorry and that it was not their fault but that of my Oga who tried to run away, even when they had announced their presence in the church," he said.

Yemi stated that the hoodlums were still prodding him to take them to the office when they heard a dog barking from the back of the church, so one of them said it was time for them to leave.

"But they held me, tied me and covered my mouth with a cloth before they locked me up inside the church and left. It was one of the members of the church who usually does the cleaning of the church that came and rescue me," Yemi said.

Effort to reach official of Ogun State Police Command was not successful, but a police sergeant attached to Sango police station, Okaka Meye confirmed the development and added that he led the team of policemen that visited the crime scene and the corpse of the pastor has been deposited at the Sango Ota Medical Centre.

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