The Church of the King of Kings on Taju Bello Street, in the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos, has been thrown into confusion after a member, identified simply as Taofiq, committed suicide at the back of the church building.
Taofiq, a mechanic, was said to have attended a vigil in the church on Friday, but sneaked out while the prayer was going on. He subsequently went to a valley at the back of the church, where he hanged himself on a tree.
PUNCH Metro learnt that his body was met dangling while his prayer garment was found folded at
the scene of the incident around 5am on Saturday.
The police from the Iju division were said to have gone to the area and took the corpse after the church’s assistant pastor reported the case.
Taofiq, who converted to Christianity sometime last year, started attending the church –a parish of Cherubim and Seraphim– a few months ago.
The church members declined to comment on the incident when PUNCH Metro visited the community on Tuesday.
The members prevented their correspondent from entering the church’s premises when he demanded to speak with their pastor.
One of them, a woman, who felt enraged by the request, said:
“We cannot say anything about what happened. We are not his family members and he (the deceased) was not a church member. Go and meet his people. I don’t want to hear anything; leave our church now!”
Most residents approached by this correspondent also declined comments on the incident.
However, an elderly man, who did not to give his name, said the deceased was a member of the church, adding that he was awoken on the day by the commotion caused by the incident.
“He (Taofiq) had attended a vigil with members of the church on Friday to Saturday. It was around 5am that he was found dangling on a tree at the back of the church. I don’t know why he killed himself. But he must have been psychologically disturbed. I saw the garment he wore to the church at the place he committed suicide.”
As the man narrated what he witnessed to Punch, a member of the church stormed his compound and told him to stop.
Another resident, who identified himself as Kareem Ibrahim, said Taofiq’s behaviour became strange about a year ago when he quit his mechanic work.
“I just opened shop that day when a friend came to tell me that someone had died at the back of the church. On getting there, it turned out to be Taofik. He was living around here before, but I don’t know where he relocated to. When he converted to Christianity last year, he changed his name to Segun.
“He was a mechanic and was living a normal life until last year when we observed that his behaviour was changed. I learnt he was defrauded of money, but I don’t know the amount. He was a bachelor.”
The spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, SP Dolapo Badmos, said investigation was ongoing to ascertain the cause of the incident. She said:
“The Assistant Pastor of the King of Kings Church, Mr. Odunike Abiodun, reported to the police that one Taofik committed suicide near the church, where he came for a vigil. Detectives visited the scene of the crime and investigation is ongoing to unravel the cause of the death. His corpse has been deposited in a morgue for autopsy.”