At least 35 suspects, including a pastor have been arrested by police operatives attached to the Intelligence Response Team over alleged kidnapping, armed robbery and other heinous crimes across the country.
Adetokumbo Adenopo, the Founder and General Overseer of New Life Ministry in Shagamu Area of Ogun State was arrested alongside three other members of his criminal gang for alleged kidnap of one Jonathan Ekpo.
Adenopo and his gang had demanded a ransom of N20m for the release of their victim.
According to Force Spokesperson, Frank Mba, the pastor confessed to committing the crime for his church expansion and charitable works.
“Notable among the arrests is a criminally minded pastor, Adetokumbo Adenopo ‘m’ 52years, Founder and General Overseer of New Life Ministry, Lukosi, in Shagamu Area of Ogun State and three other members of his criminal gang namely; Chigozie Williams 22years, native of Umuahia North, Abia State, Ugoji Linus 30years, native of Ezinifite in Imo State and Emmanuel Chris Ani, 27years, native of Aniri in Enugu State, all responsible for the kidnap for ransom of one Jonathan Ekpo ‘m’ 35years 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 17th July, 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 twenty-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 statement read.
The Police also arrested four other suspects 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.
A nine-man trans-boundary armed robbery and car snatching syndicate was also busted by the police. Investigations reveal that the syndicate has snatched over thirty exotic cars at gun point and killed two Policemen.
They use anti-tracker devices to evade arrest and deliver the vehicles to one Alhaji Garba in Maradi, Niger Republic. Eighteen vehicles have so far been recovered by the Police team. The team is working with the INTERPOL to apprehend Alhaji Garba and to recover the remaining vehicles.
Exhibits recovered include: 4 Ak47 Rifles, 1 FMC rifle, 1 Pump Action Gun, 2 double barrel guns, 1 Beretta pistol, 4 AK47 Magazine, 6 cartridges, 378 Rounds of live Ammunition, 1 Network Jammer (anti-tracker device), Others.