- One Pastor Kenneth Okafo of the Jesus Favour Ministry Church is accused of collecting ransom before releasing two kidnapped victims in Edo state
- The cleric states that his church members are not aware that he is an ex-convict
- UK-based centre releases fresh report on herdsmen, farmers crisis across Nigeria
One Pastor Kenneth Okafo of the Jesus Favour Ministry Church at Ugbiyokho in Egor local government of Edo state has been arrested by the police for allegedly kidnapping a retired army major, Stephen Omoigui and his sales girl.
The Nation reports that the suspect who is also an ex-convict was said to have committed the abduction on June 6, along the Benin-Lagos highway at Iguosa community. Pastor Okafo was also accused of releasing his victims after ransom was paid to him.
The suspect told reporters when he was being paraded alongside 47 suspects involved in armed robbery, kidnapping, murder and cultism, that he was lured into kidnapping because of his desire to raise money to cater for his blind father's medical bill.
He accused one Mathew he met in prison in 2015 of persuading him to join a kidnap gang. He said his church members were not aware of his criminal past adding that the head of the church is also an ex-armed robber.
"It is unfortunate. I was a victim of circumstances because I needed money to help my blind father. I really wanted to raise money to take him to an eye clinic for treatment. So I told my friend that I needed assistance," Okafo said.
“One day, my friend called me to meet him at Mobil filling station at Ring Road. When I got there I saw him with two other people in a Camry car. They said since I needed money I should join them to go and kidnap some one at Oluku. Immediately I entered the car they showed me guns so I had to join them."
He, however, denied being given money before he was arrested by the police. He insisted that he was not involved in the negotiation of ransom.
In other news, a report from a United Kingdom-based organisation has indicted some governors and the opposition party in Nigeria over fueling the crisis between herdsmen and farmers across Nigeria.
The report by the Bridge Centre said there are possibilities that chieftains of the opposition especially the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are supporting killers in their desperation to get at the government of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The report also claimed that this desperation may be the reason why many of the killings occur in communities that did not vote for PDP in the 2015 general elections.
NAIJ.com visits kidnappers' den discovered in Lagos on NAIJ.com TV