The alleged faking of his own kidnap by Revd Peter Adegoke Adewuyi of the Methodist Church of Advent, Ado-Ekiti, about two weeks ago, remains a puzzle to members of the church.
Multiple sources in the church told Sunday Vanguard that the wife of the cleric, Rebecca, received a call from one of her husband’s alleged accomplices, informing her that her husband had been abducted and a ransom of N3million must be paid to secure his release.
The information, relayed to members of the church by the cleric’s wife, jolted them as they quickly mobilised to free their shepherd “languishing in kidnappers den”.
However, the bubble burst when the police intercepted and arrested the holder of the phone from which the ransom demand originated.
Explaining how the reverend and his accomplices were caught, the Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State Command, Mr Asuquo Amba, said, “The pastor, for three days, lodged in a hotel, which we were tracking, as a way of keeping himself away from members of his church, and sent this panicky information that he had been kidnapped and his accomplices were equally using that same line to negotiate for a ransom of N3million.
“They were all apprehended even as the church was strenuously trying to mobilise donation from members to pay the ransom
“Unknown to the priest, he was being tracked to a location near First Bank in Okeyinmi area of Ado-Ekiti where he was going to pick the ransom money”.
Adewuyi, speaking after his arrest, described his action as beyond the ordinary.
“I don’t see it as something that is ordinary. After the whole thing happened, I just got back my senses”, he said.
According to him, his wife was not in the know as he told her he was travelling to Ilesa before he later called her to start the kidnap episode.
A top member of the church and a businessman, Chief Oyedeji Olajubu, was not convinced by Adewuyi’s story.
Olajubu said the incident made members examine the books of the church, alleging, “In the project account of the church, we had over N1.6 Million which now has just N10, 000. In the administration account, over N150, 000 has been withdrawn in a suspicious manner”
A source close to the church told Sunday Vanguard that Mrs Rebecca Adewuyi alleged, upon interrogation, that the priest had been toying with the idea of faking own kidnap for over two months before staging it.
During the service last Sunday, the congregation was still in shock over the incident as members discussed it in hushed tones. The new officiating minister, Revd Michael Olugbemi, said Adewuyi had been known to him for over 15 years.
“I’m as surprised as any other person here why this had to happen,” Olugbemi stated.
He, however, admonished members not to be distracted by the fake kidnap.
“People of God you should not be moved by this unfortunate event. Please do not disgrace yourself because of what you would eat. Please don’t forget the instructions of God,” he added.
Mr. Kolawole Emmanuel, a member of the church, said the behaviour of Adewuyi is alien to Methodist Church.
“The rules and regulations of the Methodist Church forbid such wicked and dishonest acts. Our church and members frown at such. He should be made to face the law,” he declared.
An elder, Mr. Seun Ojo, said the church cannot and would not stop the law from taking its course.
“Doing so would amount to condoning evil and becoming an accessory after the fact. We don’t condone evil in Methodist Church,” he stated.