35-year-old pastor, others arrested for abduction of Catholic priest in Imo
Imo State Police Command has arrested 35-year-old Pastor Izuchukwu Anoloba of Apostle Church of Christ, Eziama Osuama, Isiala Mbano Local Council of Imo State in connection to the kidnapping of a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Fidelis Ekemgba.
The 71-year-old priest of St. Peters Catholic Church Parish, in Amazu, Obowo Local Council was kidnapped on November 17, 2021, at the entrance of his Parish on his return from mission assignment.
The victim was, however, rescued unhurt by the anti-kidnapping unit of the Command last week and some of his belongings taken by the suspects were recovered.
Parading the suspect at the Command’s Headquarters, Owerri, yesterday, the state Police Commissioner, Rabiu Hussaini, disclosed that the pastor was arrested alongside his other gang members, following credible information and technical intelligence of his men.
The CP gave names of the other suspects as Kingsley Obumunonye, 35; Uchenna Duru, 25; Chidinka Oduenyi, 20; Onyebuchi Emeka, 26; Augustine Azubuike, 47; Divine Ugochukwu, 39 and Chukwuma Onwe, 47.
He said: “On interrogation, the suspects made a confessional statement, which led to the arrest of Kingsley Obimunonye, a notorious armed robber/kidnapper, who has been on the wanted list of the Command for his involvement in several armed robbery and kidnapping cases in the state.
“When interrogated, he made the useful statement, confessing to the kidnapping of one Nwabueze Ashama on 22/8/2021, the kidnapping and murder of one Lilian Egwurugwu on 23/11/2021 and the kidnapping of Rev. Fr. Fidelis Ekemgba on 17/9/2021, in the company of his gang namely; Ifeanyi Ohajimkpa, Emmanuel Oguguo aka ‘Eze Mmuo’, Stephen Ndukwu aka ‘Onye Isiala; Augustine Agubuike; Prince Godwin; Monday Oyams; Divine Gabriel Ugochukwu aka “Computer’; and Chibueze Iwuoha.
“On further interrogation, the suspects revealed their hideouts, which led to the arrest of one Richard Nworie ‘m’, an escapee from Owerri Correctional Centre and Chukwuemeka Godwin Ogu ‘m’ and the recovery of one AK47 rifle with Number AB: 356859.
“They also confessed to the robbing of the Emekuku Branch of First Bank Plc.”
The Imo Police boss further disclosed that exhibits recovered from the suspects include: two locally made pistol, one Pump Action Gun, four live cartridges, two expended cartridges, four live Cartridges, two Pump Action guns, two locally made pistols, twenty-two live cartridges, one AK 47 rifle with Magazine loaded with 25 rounds of Ammunition, one Blue Coloured Toyota Camry 2.4, one Gray Coloured Toyota Camry 2.7 Spider, one Coffee Colour Toyota Camry 2015 model, one Black Toyota Sienna and one Red Toyota Corolla Car.
Hussaini also urged citizens of the state who intend to return home for the yuletide to do so without any fear or panic, assuring them of adequate security during and after the celebrations.
Speaking to newsmen during the parade, the pastor expressed regret for the crime and asked for forgiveness from God and his victims.