Nigeria: 9-year-old rescued after being starved, chained by pastor father

Nigerian police rescued nine-year-old Korede, who was kept in chains.NSCDC

A pastor in Nigeria who chained up and starved his nine-year-old son has been arrested after the boy was rescued in a police raid.

Francis Taiwo is believe to have chained his son Korede in the church he pastored, Key of Joy Celestial Church, for stealing food prepared by his stepmother Kehinde.

According to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, a report from a member of the public led to a raid being mounted on the church, during which church members led by Kehinde offered "serious resistance". Taiwo fled during the raid but was arrested yesterday. Kehinde has also been arrested.

Korede, who was described as tired and pale and unable to talk, has been taken into care and is receiving medical attention.

He had been chained by the neck for a month.

Korede later told the Sunday Punch news service he did not want to return to his father and stepmother: He said: ''I was not fed regularly when I was chained. My father and my step-mother only fed me twice a day. Some days, I was not given any food. I want to go back to school because I want to be a doctor in the future. I also do not want to go back to my father's house.''

According to the Punch, Korede's theft of food made his father believe he was possessed by an evil spirit. He chained him in order to exorcise the 'demon'. He is believed to have attempted an exorcism through a ritual bath in a river, with Korede still chained.

Ogun State Police Command spokesman Muyiwa Adejobi said Taiwo will be charged to court as soon as investigations are completed.