A pastor in charge of Celestial Church of Christ, Grace of Comfort Parish, Omitoto, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Moris Fadehan, has been allegedly murdered inside his church by a suspect identified as Lekan Ogundipe.

Ogundipe is said to be the second-in-command to the late pastor.

According to sources, it was the suspect who drew the attention of the people to the presence of the partly burnt remains of the pastor inside the church on Monday.

PUNCH Metro gathered that Ogundipe, after allegedly committing the act, ran to the house of the founder of the church, whose name could not be immediately ascertained, and told him the fire was burning the pastor’s body.

Our correspondent also learnt that a resident of Omitoto, where the church is located, was also told by Ogundipe that fire was burning the pastor upon arriving at the scene, observed blood on the dress of the suspect, and drew the attention of the founder of the church to what he had observed.

It was also gathered that the same man called the police, whose operatives deployed to the scene and subsequently arrested the suspect.

It was not immediately clear what issues between Ogundipe and Fadehan could have led to the murder of the pastor..

But a source close to the deceased said Fadehan had retrieved keys to the church from the suspect after he had allegedly assaulted a prophetess, following an undisclosed disagreement last Wednesday.

He said, “Assault on the prophetess occurred last week on Wednesday. The prophetess was in the church, and Lekan (Ogundipe) came around and met her. They had a disagreement. Lekan eventually assaulted the woman. He bit her, and that got the shepherd angry.

“Because of the way he acted, the pastor retrieved church keys from him. This past Sunday, there was a crisis in the church that almost disrupted the service. Lekan’s matter was also part of the issues that caused the crisis.

“But on Monday, when the pastor arrived at the church, he was praying at the feet of the altar when someone pounced on him and attempted to cover his face with clothes. That led to a tussle. Pastor struggled to push the attacker away, and in the process, he got to know it was Lekan who attacked him.

“While that was on, Lekan reportedly picked up a screwdriver and hit it against the pastor in the face, killing him on the spot. To cover his tracks, he dragged the body towards the generator, poured petrol on him, and set him ablaze. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t cover his tracks well.

“After killing the man, he ran to the residence of the founder of the church and told him that fire was burning the pastor in the church. He also raised alarm in the neighbourhood that a fire had killed the pastor inside the church.

“But one of those that arrived at the scene early observed blood on Ogundipe’s dress. The man also observed a mark of violence around his neck region. The man and the founder then tricked the suspect and kept him in a vehicle, and when the police operatives arrived, they handed him over to them.”

When contacted on Tuesday, Osun Police Command Public Relations Officer, Yemisi Opalola, confirmed the incident, adding that the command has commenced an investigation into the matter.

She said, “At about 10:15am on Monday, one Moris Fadehan, aged 65 years, of Grace of Comfort Oke Odo, Omitoto, Ile-Ife, was killed by one Lekan, who is also a member of the church. Upon arrival, his body was found in a pool of blood. Marks of violence were also discovered on the body of the deceased.

“The suspect was arrested at the scene of the crime. Remains of the deceased were deposited at the OAUTHC morgue for autopsy.”