…as Police arrest gang members, recovers cache of assault guns, 378 rounds of ammunition
By Okosun Dennis
A local dictum that says, “every day for the thief, one day for the owner” has played out in Ogun State as Police Operatives attached to the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) have arrested a criminally minded Pastor, Adetokumbo Adenopo, 52, Founder and the General Overseer of New Life Ministry, Lukosi, in Shagamu Area of Ogun State.
Confirming the arrest in Abuja on Wednesday, the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba said that the pastor told the Police operatives that he embarked on the crime for the expansion of his church and charity works.
He was arrested with three members of his criminal gangs identified as Chigozie Williams, 22, a native of Umuahia North, Abia State; Ugoji Linus, 30, from Ezinifite in Imo State and Emmanuel Chris Ani, 27, who hails from Aniri in Enugu State, for kidnapping for ransom one Jonathan Ekpo, 35, from Benue State.
These arrests were part of the 35 suspects arrested across the country for their active involvement and participation in series of kidnapping, armed robbery and other heinous crimes.
DCP Mba added that the arrest was sequel to the unrelenting efforts by the Force to rid the country of heinous criminals and to get justice for victims of these crimes.
Investigation, however, revealed that the victim was an employee of a Logistic Company and was kidnapped on 17th July, 2020 while on official duty to deliver goods in Shagamu, Ogun State.
Police detectives later uncovered that the abductors kept the victim in an underground cabin inside the Pastor’s church building in Ogijo town, Ogun State, while he demanded for the payment of N20million as ransom before he would be released.
Fortunately, it was learnt that the police swooped on them and the victim was subsequently rescued unhurt nine days after and was reunited with his family.
Similarly, the Police also arrested one Udodiri Bright (aka Ability), a 30-year-old man from Osuachara Village, Isiala Mbano LGA of Imo state.
He was said to have been arrested with three others, also identified as Ekwuru Shadrack (aka Escobar), 26, from Arondizuogu village in Okigwe LGA of Imo state; Chimerie Igwe (aka 4real), 30, a native of Umucheke Village in Orlu LGA of Imo State and Chibuike Sunday, 28, from Arondizuogu of Imo State.
According to DCP Mba, they were arrested on the 5th of July, 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.
Police stated that, “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.
“The Police team also arrested a 9-man trans-boundary armed robbery and car snatching syndicates led by one Yakubu Hayatu, 30 years, from Borno State.
“Members of the gang included; Adamu Awalu, 28 years from Kano State; Abdulrahman Yakubu, 23 years from Zaria; Yususf Adamu, 22 years from Zaria; Kamal Japhet, 22 years from Katsina; Abubakar Samaila, 20 years from Zaria; Muhammadu Abdulahi, 20 years from Zaria; Yahaya Mohammed, 18 years from Kaduna State; and Ibrahim Abubakar, 21 years from Kwara.”
Police investigations revealed that the syndicate had snatched over 30 exotic cars at gun point and in the process, killed two Policemen.
However, to escape undetected, the gang had effectively deployed anti-tracker devices to evade arrest while they deliver the vehicles to one Alhaji Garba in Maradi, Niger Republic.
Following their arrest, it was disclosed that the police team has been able to recover 18 of the vehicles while, the team is working with the INTERPOL to apprehend Alhaji Garba and to recover the remaining vehicles.
Exhibits recovered from the syndicates include: four Ak47 Rifles, one FMC rifle, one Pump Action Gun, two double barrel guns, one Beretta pistol, four AK47 Magazine, six cartridges, 378 Rounds of live Ammunition, one Network Jammer (anti-tracker device), among others.
As a result of these breakthroughs, the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu, had assured that the battle against criminal elements in the country is a continuous one, adding that the suspects would be charged to court on conclusion of investigations and prosecution.