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Church leader beaten to death over house rent

Olalekan Olabulo, Lagos - 04.05.2007

A 54-year-old cleric in one of the parishes of the Celestial Church of Christ has been beaten to death in a row over house rent in the Ajegunle area of Lagos State.

Kingsley Ojalotan, one of the clergymen at the Tabernacle Parish of Celestial Church at 36, Joseph Onnu Street, Phase Two, Festac Extension, Amuwo Odofin, was beaten to death by hoodlums hired by a man who claimed to have given him house rent.

Nigerian Tribune investigations revealed that the deceased had collected N120,000 from the accused, Saeed Bello, being part payment for an apartment in the area.

Trouble, however, star-ted when the accused could not find the balance for the rent and, therefore, decided to collect the advance paid to the deceased who was said to have remitted N100,000 to the owner of the house, while the remaining N20,000 was allegedly shared between him and the estate agent in charge of the building.

One of the wives to the deceased, who spoke with the Nigerian Tribune on condition of anonymity, said Bello came to their house last week threatening to deal with the deceased.

She said a few hours after the accused had an argument with the deceased, he allegedly stor-med their residence with hoodlums who beat the cleric to a state of unconsciousness before they left.

The cleric was said to have died a few hours after he was rushed to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

The spokesperson of the state police command, Mr. Olubode Ojajuni, while confirming the report, said the accused had since been arrested and was now being investigated at the state CID, Panti.

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