By Hassan Zaggi
The Police Operatives attached to the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), have arrested a 52-year-old ‘pastor,’ Founder and General Overseer of New Life Ministry, Lukosi, in Shagamu Area of Ogun State and three other members of his gang for kidnapping a 35-years-old man from Benue.
The ‘pastor,’ Adetokumbo Adenopo, confessed to the police that he kidnapped his victim in order to raise money to expand his church and also engage in charity work.
The Force Spokesman, Frank Mba, paraded 35 criminals including the ‘pastor’ and his gang in Abuja, yesterday.
“Notable among the arrests is a criminally minded pastor, Adetokumbo Adenopo, 52 years, Founder and General Overseer of New Life Ministry, Lukosi, in Shagamu Area of Ogun State and three other members of his criminal gang.
“The other members of the gang include Chigozie Williams 22 years, native of Umuahia North, Abia State, Ugoji Linus 30 years, native of Ezinifite in Imo State and Emmanuel Chris Ani, 27 years, native of Aniri in Enugu State, all responsible for the kidnap for ransom of one Jonathan Ekpo, 35 years from Benue State.
“Curiously, the pastor told the Police operatives that he embarked on the crime for the expansion of his church and charity works.
“The victim, an employee of a logistic company was kidnapped on July 17, 2020, while on official duty to deliver goods in Shagamu, Ogun State.
“The victim was kept in an underground cabin inside the Pastor’s church building in Ogijo town, Ogun State, by his abductors who demanded the payment of 20 million naira ransom as condition for his release.
“He was subsequently rescued unhurt nine days after and reunited with his family by the Police,” the Force Spokesman explained.
Also, among those paraded by the police are four Imo state indigenes who kidnapped and killed a US-based pastor who came for holidays in Nigeria in 2017.
The four Imo indigenes involved in the crime, according to the Force Spokesman, included Udodiri Bright aka Ability, 30 years old, native of Osuachara Village, Isiala Mbano LGA of Imo state, Ekwuru Shadrack aka Escobar, 26 years native of Arondizuogu village in Okigwe LGA of Imo state, Chimerie Igwe aka 4real, 30 years old, native of Umucheke Village in Orlu LGA of Imo State and Chibuike Sunday, 28 years old from Arondizuogu of Imo State.
“They were arrested on July 5, 2020, for the abduction and killing of a Nigerian US Soldier, Chuks Okebata who came into Nigeria for holidays in his home town, Okigwe, Imo State in 2017.
“The suspects who are one of the foremost kidnapping groups terrorizing the South Eastern part of the country were arrested 31 months after, following intensive manhunt by the Police team,” Mba, the Force Spokesman, said.