A woman identified as Joy Owoyele has reportedly died in the course of 14-day fasting recommended by a church in the Isheri Olofin area of Lagos State.
Mrs Owoyele, according to reports, sought spiritual help over her matrimonial challenges at the Christ Apostolic Church, Ori-Oke Gbogunmi, aka Ajanpelebe Mountain, located on Pipeline Road, Isheri Olofin.
The church subsequently placed her on 14-day fasting and prayer.
She reportedly collapsed on the10th day after morning prayers inside the church.
Resident pastor of the church, Alfred Sunday, said Owoyele was rushed to the Igando General Hospital where she was confirmed dead.
“She came for prayers and nothing more. Before the day of the incident, we held a vigil and she was fine. Her fasting was supposed to be for 14 days, but the incident happened on the 10th day. God is my witness, there is nothing hidden here.
“Her daughter, Oluwatise, was also with her in the church during the spiritual exercise and they always slept together. The incident happened around 7 am. I was praying on the altar when one of the church members informed me that she had passed out.
“When I moved closer to assess her, I observed that she could not stand up and when I called her name, she answered faintly. We had to rush her to the Igando General Hospital for treatment, but she died,” Sunday said.
The pastor explained that he went to the Idimu Police Station to report the incident, adding that during investigation, the police detained him and the general overseer of the church.
“When I reported the incident, the police took my statement and that of the victim’s daughter. But the General Overseer and I were detained for three days and the police also visited the church to conduct an investigation.
“But the family insisted on not pressing any charge and after the police investigation, we were released. I met with the woman’s family immediately after the incident and they accepted what happened as fate.
“During the spiritual exercise, she was fasting and praying, and usually broke her fasts with honey and water. But on the 10th day, she became very weak and we had to rush her to hospital to save her, but she died.
“After the incident, we insist that anyone embarking on fasting and prayer in the church must break with pap instead of honey and water that we usually use. Anyone who refuses won’t be allowed to embark on the spiritual exercise in the church,” he said.
Lagos police spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, confirmed the death, adding that investigation was still ongoing.
“On Saturday, April 24, 2021, around 11.50 am, one Alfred Sunday reported that one Joy Owoyele, 30, came to his church, CAC Ori-Oke Gbogunmi, aka Ajanpelebe Mountain, in Isheri Olofin, for prayers on April 14, 2021.
“Around 7 am on the day of the incident, Owoyele fainted and was rushed to the Igando General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
“Detectives led by Inspector Bridget Edosa visited the scene, inspected the corpse and deposited it in the Yaba General Hospital morgue for autopsy. The case is under investigation,” Mr Adejobi said.
The family of the deceased, who embarked on fasting and praying after her husband abandoned her for another women, are said to be making plans to convey her remains to her hometown in Ekiti State for burial.