The Imo State Police Command on Thursday paraded a suspected 35-year-old, Pastor, Izuchukwu Anoloba, of Apostolic Church of Christ in Eziama Osuama, Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State, for allegedly kidnapping a 45-year-old Catholic Priest, Reverend Father Fidelis Ekemgba.
The Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Hussaini, stated this while parading Pastor Izuchukwu alongside other suspects on other criminally related matters at the Command’s headquarters in Owerri.
The Police said they were able to breakthrough based on credible intelligence on the activities of the kidnapping syndicate.
He added that so far, 13 victims were rescued among which was the Reverend Father, Ekemgba, of St Peter Catholic Parish in Umunohu, Amakohia Ihitte, Amazu in Obowo Local Government Area of Imo state.
According to the Police, “Sequel to the kidnappings of the above-named victims, the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Command on receipt of the report, commenced a high profile investigation where both credible information and technical intelligence were gathered, which led to the arrest of one Ifeanyi Ohajimkpa, male, aged 52years in Asaba Delta State.
“On interrogation, the suspect made a confessional statement which led to the arrest one Kingsley Obimunonye, a notorious armed robber/kidnapper who has been on the wanted list of the Command for his involvement in several armed robberies and kidnapping cases in the state in recent times. When interrogated, he made the useful statement, confessing to the kidnapping of one Nwabueze Ashama on 22/8/2021, also 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 of the arrested suspects, they revealed their hideouts which led to the arrest of one Richard Nworie ‘m’, an escapee of Owerri Correctional Centre and Chukwuemeka Godwin Ogu ‘m’ and the recovery of one AK47 Rifle with Breach Number AB: 356859.
“They also confessed to the robbing of the Emekuku Branch of First Bank Plc, Exhibits recovered from the suspects includes: -Two locally-made pistols, 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 “
Speaking, the suspect Pastor Izuchukwu shortly said: “I have gone to the Catholic priest and begged him for forgiveness and told him I have repented.”
Relating his experience, the Catholic priest, Ekemgba, said: “I wanted to end my life on that day as I was rough handled and pinned down. They emptied my account with my ATM and did not release me until we paid them N5 million.”