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The Nigeria Police Force has paraded a 32-year-old man, in connection with the attack on the senior pastor and General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide, Apostle Johnson Suleman.
According to the Force, the suspect, Yusuf Isah, from Okene, Kogi State, and his gang members had sometime in October, 2022, attacked the convoy of Suleiman Along the Benin-Auchi Road in Edo State.
It says during the attack, six persons including three policemen attached to the cleric were killed.
Parading the suspects before journalists in Abuja, Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi said the suspect were arrested by operatives of the Intelligence Rapid Team(IRT), following an intensive investigation.
Adejobi a Chief Superintendent of Police said the suspect was found to be in possession of five AK 47, two K2 assault rifles, and 180 live ammunition at the time of his arrest.
According to him, Two members of the 7-man gang were gunned-down in separate encounters with the Police and the remaining four are still at large.
Isah, a native of Okene, Kogi State and a plumber by profession at Agbaraoluwa Phase 2 Ijoka, Akure, Ondo State was arrested with five Ak47 Rifles, two K2 Assault rifles, 180 live ammunition and four suspected IEDs all found in his apartment.
Adejobi said investigations revealed that the suspect was part of the 7-man gang responsible for the attack on the convoy of the Apostle and some of the rifles found in his possession were in fact rifles snatched from the three police officers slain during the October 21, 2022 attack.
Speaking to the journalists, the suspect confessed that he joined the gang in 2021 after he was freed from Olokuta Correctional Center where he was on remand since 2019 for alleged involvement in armed robbery.
According to him, the instruction given by their leader who is still at large was to assassinate Apostle Suleman but that somehow the cleric was lucky to have escaped death.
The suspect, who maintained that he didn’t know the person that ordered the assassination of Suleman, as the assailants contacted the leader of the gang who promised to pay him N2million, hid group specializes in kidnaping for ransom and collect huge amount of money before releasing their victims.
He confessed that between 2021 and 2023, they carried out about four kidnapping operations including the attack on the convoy of the Apostle, before the gang was eventually busted by the Police.
The suspect also confessed that the gang was responsible for the kidnap of a popular oil dealer at Jetu, Auchi in 2022, where they obtained a ransom of about N70 million naira before his release.
The gang equally carried out the kidnap of a business man along Benin – Agbor express road in 2022 and collected N20m as ransom from the victim’s family.
Their last attempt at kidnapping after the failed attack on the Apostle was along Owo – Ikare road where they were heavily engaged and repelled by the police escort accompanying their target.
Briefing journalists, Adejobi, said, “Following an intensive investigation into the fatal attack on the convoy of Apostle Johnson Suleman, the senior pastor and General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide, Auchi, on October 21, 2022, along with Benin police personnel, who were gruesomely murdered, the operatives of FIB-IRT on Auchi road comprising six people, including three of the assailants, apprehended one Yusuf Ismael Isah ‘m’, a native of Okene, Kogi State and a plumber, at Agbaraoluwa Phase 2 Ijoka, Akure, Ondo State and recovered five Ak47 Rifles, two K2 Assault rifles, 180 live ammunition and 4 suspected IEDs were found in his apartment.