The Lagos state police command says it has rescued 15 inmates from an “illegal” prayer house at Ijegun Isheri area of the state.
Bala Elkana, the state police public relations officer, who confirmed the arrest, said they met some of the inmates in chains at the prayer house, known as Blessings of Goodness Healing Church.
The police officer said some of the inmates were brought by their families to seek spiritual help from mental illness and other diseases.
“On Wednesday, at about 6:10pm, acting on information from a reliable source, a team of detectives from Isheri Osun Police Station led by the divisional police officer, CSP Chike Ibe stormed a prayer house used as detention camp at No 26 Alafia Street, Oriofe Ijegun Isheri, where the Prophet Sunday Joseph Ojo, 58, and 10 others were arrested,” he said.
“Fifteen persons who were chained on the legs were rescued. Some of the victims were said to have spent five years in the detention camp. The victims are between ages 19 and 50, male and female.
“Some of them were brought by their families to seek spiritual help from mental illness and other diseases. The prophet said he has been in the healing ministry since 1986. That he chained them in order to prevent escape.
“Investigation is ongoing. Police are working closely with other agencies of government to provide adequate medical attention and shelter to the victims.”
This is coming six days after 108 inmates were rescued at a rehabilitation centre known as Sumuratu Mumeen Arabic Centre, Gaa-Odota in Ilorin, Kwara state.
Earlier, 15 inmates were rescued at a rehabilitation centre in Adamawa. Before that, security operatives had raided a religious centre in Zaria, Kaduna state, rescuing 11 inmates.
In another raid, 147 inmates were set free by the police after a raid on another religious rehabilitation centre in the state.