The victims were part of a crowd that struggled to see the church’s General Overseer, Prophet Temitope Joshua, during a special healing service.
Two of the victims are identified as Emeka Okonkwo and Emmanuel Oherin, while the third victim is yet to be identified. Their corpses were said to have been deposited in a morgue in the state.
An eyewitness, who prefers anonymity, said the stampede occurred around 4.30am.
According to him, “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 worshippers 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.”
Another source said 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.
Nigerian Police confirmed the incident. The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said: “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.”
However, when some reporters called a telephone number spotted on the church’s website, an official with a foreign accent, denied the incident. She said, “Nothing happened on the church premises yesterday. Nobody died. Nobody. Thank you.”