Real reason Celestial Church pastor was gruesomely murdered, set ablaze by subordinate inside church

  • Deceased’s wife cries for justice

The altar of Grace of Comfort Parish, a Celestial Church of Christ branch, Omitoto area in Ile-Ife, Osun State, was desecrated last Monday when the blood of the Chief Shepherd of the worship centre, Morris Fadehan, was split and his remains burnt allegedly by his assistant, Evangelist Lekan Ogundipe.

Some residents of the area that was visited by The Point, claimed that the suspicion by Ogundipe of a sexual relationship between his superior and one of the prophetesses in the church instigated his violent and deadly reactions.

They said Ogundipe, the deceased’s second-in-command in the parish had developed lustful fantasies towards the married prophetess simply identified as Iya Sewa, before he started insinuating that Fadehan was the reason why the prophetess had refused to yield to his advances.

A resident of Omitoto, who asked not to be named, told The Point that Ogundipe, popularly called ‘Omo Lefi’ by church members, killed Fadehan because “he found out he was dating his lover.”

“I am not a member of the church, but what I gathered was that the Omo Lefi (Ogundipe) learned that the shepherd was dating his girlfriend, who also happened to be a member of the church, and he decided to confront his superior on the matter on Monday morning,” the resident said.

He added, “The matter then degenerated into a fight and the assistant killed him in the process.”

According to the resident, Fadehan was murdered on the church altar by the evangelist using a church bell and screwdriver.

The shepherd was said to be alone in the church, praying at the altar, when Ogundipe suddenly attacked him from behind.

“He (Ogundipe) had already got himself in the church premises before the Chief Shepherd arrived around 9:00am. The man of God opened the church door, got him and went straight to the altar to pray while bowing down his head. Ogundipe sneaked in and first tried covering the shepherd’s face with a cloth he pulled out of the altar table, but that led to a physical struggle between the two of them. The shepherd was quite elderly, and as a result of this, Lekan managed to overpower him.

“He then picked up a screwdriver and stabbed the shepherd in the face and ear. Fadehan died instantly. After this, he poured petrol he got from the church generator on the pastor and set him ablaze.”

After setting Fadehan ablaze, Ogundipe was said to have called an elderly member of the church, claiming that the shepherd “was on fire.”

“When people arrived at the scene, they immediately discovered that it was not just a case of fire burning the shepherd. He had actually first killed the elderly pastor before setting him ablaze so it would look like a fire accident.

“People were able to notice this with the help of the blood-stained dress Ogundipe wore. The police were informed of the incident, and he was then taken away,” he added.

A member of the church who spoke on the condition of anonymity explained that, “There is this lady prophetess in the parish that Lekan (Ogundipe) has a love interest in.

“As a matter of fact, he (Ogundipe) would go about telling people that he was already in a relationship with the lady. In actual truth, however, he had not even wooed the lady.

“When the lady got wind of what Ogundipe had been telling other members of the parish, she told him to stop peddling fake news about her. The lady also told him, point blank, that she would never date him.

“This led to a disagreement between the two of them. Last Wednesday, the same Ogundipe physically assaulted the woman, biting her in the process.

“His actions really angered the shepherd, who resolved to take disciplinary action by first collecting the key to the doors of the church from him. The pastor took that action on Sunday.

“I also heard that there is another elderly member of the church who is interested in dating or is even planning to marry the prophetess. It seems the shepherd really favoured the elderly suitor to marry the prophetess and this did not go down well with the second-in-command.

“I think he felt the shepherd should have favoured him over the other elderly member on the matter.”

It was gathered that Fadehan was also a mentor to the prophetess apart from being the shepherd of the church.

The prophetess while addressing some church leaders on the issue said, “Lekan attacked me last Wednesday when I told him to stop telling members that we were in a relationship, Pastor Fadehan met with us over the unfortunate incident and warned Lekan against assault on the Church.”

Meanwhile, upon receiving news of the incident at his base in Osogbo, the State Evangelist of Osun State and Chairman of the Church Task Force, Adjovi immediately proceeded to Ile Ife to assess the situation.

When he arrived, he visited the parish for questioning and was accompanied by over 25 shepherds, including the Ife Divisional Head, Temitope Adebayo. Together, they visited the home of the victim, Fadehan to offer their sympathies and deliver a message from the Pastor to the grieving family.

Speaking, Fadehan’s widow lamented the gruesome killing of her husband and urged the church leaders to ensure justice is done.

According to her, “I am devastated. My husband was killed in a very gruesome manner. I demand justice. His death should not be in vain. I never knew that Monday morning would be the last time I would be seeing my husband. I was even the one prompting him to go to Church on time. He could not even drink the pap I prepared for him.”

She said her husband had received a series of negative reports about Ogundipe’s violent behaviours to members of the church.

“I even advised him to get him arrested but he did not listen to me. This is a man he assisted. He (Fadehan) used to take him to construction sites because my husband was an engineer. From there, he made him his assistant when he became the Shepherd of the church. I even used to give him money and buy him clothes but he chose to pay me back this way. All I need is justice,” she said amid sobs.

However, Adjovi assured the family that the church would collaborate closely with the police to provide any necessary information to aid in the prosecution of whoever was responsible for the tragic death of Fadehan.

Yemisi Opalola, Osun State Police spokesperson, confirmed the incident, noting that the police had already commenced an investigation into the matter as the suspect has been arrested.

Meanwhile, the body of the 65-year-old shepherd has since been taken to the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital morgue.