Pastor nabbed for alleged kidnap of 17-month-old baby in Imo State
• Police boss fumes over prevalence of under-aged cultists
Police operatives of the Imo State command at the weekend arrested a pastor and his accomplice for the kidnap of a 17-month-old baby. Briefing reporters in Owerri, the command’s Deputy Police Public Relations Officer (DPPRO), Ifeyinwa Ezeudogu, alleged that the suspects, a pastor and a 23-year-old man, were apprehended based on intelligence information received by the Anti-Kidnapping unit.
According to her, the suspects had last week invaded the residence of Mrs. Vivian Iberie, along Christiana Hospital, Egbu, Owerri North Local Council, allegedly kidnapping the baby and dispossessing the victim of her Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card.
She said the suspects kept the child at the home of the pastor located at 6, Maduwuba Avenue, Orji, Owerri North Local Government Area, collecting the ransom of N627,000 from the victim.
Ezeudogu said the hoodlums later demanded extra N200,000 from the mother of the child before security operatives swooped on them. The police officer disclosed that while investigations were ongoing, they were also trailing other suspects who ran away.
Meanwhile, the Mobile Environmental Sanitation Court in the state has tried 250 sanitation offenders. This was disclosed at the weekend in Owerri by the magistrate in charge of the court, Nkiru Nwauwa, noting that they were arrested by the security men who monitored the Saturday monthly clean up exercise in the state.
She blamed those arrested, mainly students, for neglecting the directive of the state government, by heading for their examination and lectures. Nwauwa urged the residents in the various 27 Local Government Areas in the state to observe the restriction every last Saturday of the month from 7 to 10a.m.
In Lagos, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Imohimi Edgal, has raised the alarm over activities of under-aged boys who got initiated into cult groups, just as he warned parents to watch their children or get arrested.
Edgal raised the alarm and threatened to arrest any parent whose child was caught for involvement in cultism with the recent arrest of some secondary school boys, whose ages were between 10 to 17.
He said the parents had the responsibility to guide and protect children under their care until they were adults and above 18. The police boss explained that parents have constitutional roles to take care of their children.
He said that April 24, the DPO of Ilupeju Division arrested four suspects and three of the suspects were students of Atunrase Senior Secondary School, Surulere while the other suspect was a student of Birch Freeman Junior Secondary School, Surulere, Lagos.
He noted that the teenage students confessed and mentioned their sponsor and leader, a non-student, Mr. Mayowa Rauf Oguntoye. The other suspects were Femi Awoniyi, 17, Dauda Sodiq, 15, Ajala Hafiz, 13 and Temilehin Balogun, 17.
The suspects were intercepted on their way to carry out a ‘hit’ assignment. The police said upon interrogation, they confessed that they were on their way to attack a rival cult group at Eko Boys High School, Mushin, Lagos.