Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Journalists have been barred from covering the trial of the founder of Sotitobire Miracle Centre, Akure in Ondo State.
The case which came up for hearing before Magistrate Charity Adeyanju was instituted by the Department of State Security (DSS).
Babatunde is standing trial over the alleged abduction of a one-year-old boy, Gold Kolawole, who went missing in his church in November 2019.
Drama ensued in the court on Friday, when the police prosecutor, Inspector Uloh Goodluck, who was attached to the court ordered the already seated journalists to vacate their seats without any cogent reason.
Following the response of the journalists who argued that the prosecutor lacked such power, Inspector Goodluck approached Magistrate Adeyanju in her chamber to convince her on his earlier stand.
With the journalists waiting for the commencement of the proceeding, Magistrate Adeyanju who walked into the courtroom ordered all journalists in the courtroom to vacate their seats.
Shortly after journalists left the courtroom, Prophet Babatunde was brought into the court premises alongside six workers of his church amid heavy security.
The magistrate who gave no reason for her action against the journalists ordered that Prophet Babatunde should remain at the Olokuta Correctional Centre till February 5, 2020, pending the hearing of the legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
It would be recalled that Prophet Babatunde is currently standing trial for allegedly kidnapping a one-year-old boy, Gold Kolawole in his church on November 10, 2019, which led to his remand on December 23, 2019, at the Correctional facility.
He was charged alongside six others on a six-count charge of felony, conspiracy, and kidnapping.