James Sowole in Akure
A prophet and founder of a Cherubim and Seraphim Church, the Gethesema Zion Church, Godwin Ayenugha, was among 12 suspects paraded yesterday by the Ondo State Command for various offences such as robbery and kidnapping.
Ayenugha, whose church is situated at Igbokoda, headquarters of Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, was arrested along with his accomplice, Ibukun Adetigha, for allege kidnap of a member of the church, Omosaye Segun.
Parading the suspects, the Commissioner of Police for the Ondo State Command, Mr. Gbenga Adeyanju, said, Ayengha perpetrated the act after sending a fake prophesy to their victim that he would be kidnapped and need to be careful.
Adeyanju explained that the suspects were arrested through a network of intelligence gathering by the detectives from the state.
He disclosed that the victim, Omosaye, was earlier kidnapped in November 2017 and regained his freedom in January 2018 after paying ransom of N150, 000.
The suspect was said to have sent a text message that they would be coming for him again to kidnap him, threatening to kill him if they eventually kidnap him the second time.
Adeyanju said Omisaye however, informed the police, who swung into action and the owner of the phone used to text the message was arrested which led to the arrest of the prophet.
“On the receipt of the complaint, detectives from the command swung into action and through intelligence gathering arrested one Ibukun Adetigha and later arrested Ayenugha, a founder of a church in Igbokoda.
“The Techno handset that was used in sending the text messages was recovered from them. Upon interrogation, the two suspects confessed to have sent the text messages but denied their involvement in the abduction of the victim.
“Ayenugha happened to be the spiritual father of the victim who claimed to have seen vision that the victim would be kidnapped”, he said.
Confessing to the crime, Ayenugha said he was pushed to the crime because of hunger, but said he had no hand in the last year kidnap of the victim.
He said he had earlier informed the victim that he should be prayerful to avoid being kidnapped again, saying “because he believes in me, he gave me money in order to organise a prayer session for him.”
“I am very close to the victim and I have been working and praying for him for some time but I was financially down and had to think of how to get money from him.
“I asked one of my church member to text him and one other person to inform them that we are coming to kidnap them. I know they will come to me for spiritual assistance and I eventually collected N150,000, from Omosaye and the other person paid N60,000.”
The accomplice, Adetigha, also confessed to the crime, disclosing that the text messages were sent on the order of his spiritual father and confirmed receiving N25,000 from the prophet as part of his share in the deal.
Also paraded for alleged kidnap were two men, Jero Umoru and Aliyu Umoru who on July 27 kidnapped the former Chairman of Akure North Local Government area of the state, Mr. Dele Fagoriola, on his farm.
The commissioner said Fagoriola regained his freedom the third day saying the duo were arrested on the farm on the farm of the victim on October 14 apparently trying to commit another crime.
He said the men were identified by the victim to be among those that kidnapped him during an identification parade that was conducted.
Adeyanju said discreet investigation also revealed that the same gang was responsible for abduction of two other women, Mrs. Dare Agnes and Mrs. Adebo Atinuke on August 15 along Iju-Ikere-Ado Road.
He said the women also identified the suspects during identification parade.
The commissioner said the command was working on how to arrest other members of the gang.