Abuja — Chaos has broken out in western Nigeria after allegations that the body of a recently declared missing baby boy (aged one) had been exhumed from a so-called miracle church.
At least one police officer has been killed during the skirmishes that saw the Sotitobire Praising Chapel burnt down in Akure, the capital of the Ondo State.
The baby was recently kidnapped at the same church.
Irate youths, accusing police of incompetence and the church of lacking remorse, have been at the forefront of the pandemonium that led to the injury of an unspecified number of other police officers.
The law enforcers were pelted with stones while trying to contain the situation.
Their patrol vehicle was also severely damaged.
Femi Joseph, the Ondo police spokesperson, blamed a popular television station for the reports that suggested the missing boy's body had been exhumed at the Sotitobire church.
"This rejoinder became necessary to disabuse the minds of many Nigerians who might have fallen for this wicked lies and propaganda," Joseph said.
"It is most unfortunate that this misleading information has ignited a spontaneous reaction from the people leading to wanton destruction of properties and injuries to many."
Joseph said the public should also disregard reports that the command had abandoned the investigation into the case of the missing boy.
"Notwithstanding this latest incident, more reinforcement has been sent to the scene to contain the situation," he said.