Special operatives of the police have arrested a cleric, Pastor Adetokunbo Adenopo, for alleged involvement in the kidnapping of a delivery man. Adenopo was among 34 other suspects, “who have been clearly and evidentially linked” to cases of kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustling, car theft, unlawful possession of firearms and other sundry offences. Presenting the suspects before journalists yesterday in Abuja, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Frank Mba, said a total of four AK47 rifles, 361 rounds of AK47 live ammunition, as well as five other weapons were recovered during the separate operations. He said: “A total of well over 30 cars of different makes, majorly Toyota and Honda, were stolen by some of the suspects. “Our operatives have successfully recovered 18 out of the number.” Mba said Adenopo, who is the founder of New Life Church of God in Sagamu, Ogun State, led a gang which kidnapped a man, identified as Joe, detailed by his company to deliver products to the men, upon online transaction. He said the underground cell where the kidnapped victim was held for about 10 days, was built inside the church. The FPRO accused the pastor-turned kidnapper of using “charity works” as a decoy for the alleged offence. Mba said the rescued victim was “injected” with a substance, which made him unconscious.
In a brief interview, the pastor confessed to owning the underground cell. Adenopo claimed that he was ordained as a pastor of a pestecostal church in Ibadan, Oyo State, but later resigned to found his church. He said: “I have the underground (cell) which I dug when I was attacked. I needed a place to run to, in case of any further attack. So, I designed it. “Three of us were involved in the kidnap, with the hope of raising funds and getting something before the Sallah (Eid el- Kabir).”