The police said they have arrested the General Overseer of New Life Church of God, Shagamu, over the kidnap of Mr. Job Jonathan, a Despatch Rider with a logistics company.
The Force Public Relations Officer, (FPRO), Mr. Frank MBA, disclosed this at a media briefing on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said the logistics company, which majored in the distribution of Forever Living Products, had detailed Jonathan to deliver the product following an order placed online.
“Jonathan, first of all, rode his motorcycle to Ikorodu but directed to proceed to Sagamu without knowledge of the fact that he was going to be kidnapped.
“On arrival at the location which turned out to be a church, the product was not only collected, the despatch rider was immediately held on the hostage,” he said.
He said the pastor, also the leader of the gang, had built a beautiful underground cabin within the church premises where Jonathan was held throughout his 10 days of captivity.
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According to him, when Jonathan began to struggle to escape, the pastor, who clearly is not certified health personnel, forcefully administered anesthesia on Jonathan.
He said Jonathan became unconscious after the injection but was rescued following complaints to the police by his company.
Mba said the pastor was arrested with three other members of the gang.
He said four suspects that specialized in kidnap operation around the South-Eastern part of the country has also been arrested.
The FPRO said the syndicate, led by a South Africa returnee, 27, had three other members.
He said the leader of the gang started kidnapping in 2018 and had carried out over 10 kidnap operations successfully.
According to him, four citizens had been murdered by the syndicate with one, personally killed by the leader.
“When the police began a manhunt of the gang leader after an operation in 2019, he temporarily relocated to Togo but returned back to Nigeria early 2020 and continued the same criminal operation.
“This offered the police the opportunity to get the gang leader and his three other members arrested,” he added.
Mba said a syndicate that specializes in car theft had also been arrested with an anti-car tracking device recovered from the suspects.
“This is the second time we are recovering a jammer or anti-tracking device from established car theft syndicates.
“In this particular case where the anti-tracking device was recovered, we discovered that one of the suspects, currently at large, Alhaji Garba, is a citizen of Niger Republic.
“He procured the device for some Nigerians, provided them with the anti-tracking device, and commission them to go on car stealing operations.
“After successful operations, the suspects take the cars to border post for onward delivery to the Niger Republic through Garba,” he said.
Mba said 18 out of the 30 cars of different makes stolen by the syndicate had been recovered by the police.
The FPRO said that a total of 35 suspects clearly linked to offences of armed robbery, kidnapping, cattle rustling, car theft, unlawful possession of weapons, and other sundry offences were arrested.
He said four Ak47 riffles, 361 rounds of live Ak47 ammunition, and five other weapons of different makes were recovered from the suspects.