Three persons have been reported dead in the synagogue church of all nations on Saturday in a stampede.
Reports says that the victims were part of a crowd that struggled to see the church’s General Overseer, Prophet Temitope Joshua, during a special healing service.
According to correspondent one of the victims is yet to be identified while the other two victims were identified as Emeka Okonkwo and Emmanuel Oherin.
An eyewitness, who did not want to be identified, said the stampede occurred around 4.30am. the corpse has been said to be deposited in a mortuary.
He said, “It was the church’s annual deliverance and healing programme. Usually at this time, the church becomes a beehive of activities as people come in their thousands to see the prophet for miracles.
“People lodge in different hotels surrounding the church. And they all arrive at the church very early.
“There is a canopy on the premises where worshipers are screened before they see the man of God.
“However, on Saturday, after being screened, the crowd was much and they started struggling through the doorway to see the prophet. In the process, three people collapsed. They were rushed to the Isolo General Hospital, where they were confirmed dead.”
According to another, the two victims were identified through their phones, adding that the third victim did not have any means of identification.
“Their families were immediately contacted and they identified them. The police from the Ikotun division were also contacted,” he added.
A police source said the corpses were taken in an ambulance, adding that the Ikotun Divisional Crime Officer and the Area Commander, Area M, accompanied them to the mortuary.
As of 2pm when our correspondent left the area, a service was still on in Synagogue.
When contacted, an official of the church, who did not want to be identified, urged our correspondent to forward his enquiries to the church’s email address.
He said, “Mr. Folarin, while I appreciate the fact that you have to do your job as a journalist, I also must protect my personal integrity. I will advise you send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm before publishing any story.
“Sometimes, rumours get to the press and injure the reputation (of) our subjects, thereby making journalism look like a witch-hunt.
“I will also advise you to be most objective. Please send a mail to the email address before publishing any story.”
Our correspondent sent an enquiry around 3.54pm which had yet to be replied to as of press time.
When our correspondent called a telephone number spotted on the church’s website, another official with a foreign accent, denied the incident.
She said, “Nothing happened on the church premises yesterday. Nobody died. Nobody. Thank you.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, however, confirmed the incident, adding that investigations were ongoing.
“The story is true. Investigation is ongoing as we await the result of the autopsy. For now, we are treating the case as sudden and unnatural deaths.” She said.