The police authorities presented a group of 20 suspects who had been arrested for various crimes, including conspiracy, attempted murder, murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, and possession of illicit drugs, among other offenses in a press conference in Abuja.
Among the apprehended individuals was Yusuf Isah, a 32-year-old man who had been taken into custody in connection with the October 2022 attack on Apostle Johnson Suleman, the General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide.
During an interview with journalists, Isah confessed that the motive behind the attack on the cleric was to assassinate him. The assault had taken place on the Benin-Auchi Road in Edo State, where gunmen ambushed the cleric’s convoy, resulting in the deaths of six individuals, including three police officers.
He said, “The attack on him (Suleman) was to assassinate him. I was not part of the discussion; Ilayasu and Labisca were the ones involved in the discussion.
“We attacked him with five AK 47 rifles. Labisca trailed him from where he was coming from to the point where we attacked him.”
The Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, addressed the journalists during the parade of the suspects in Abuja. He stated that Yusuf Isah had been apprehended by the Intelligence Rapid Team following an extensive investigation. Isah, in his confession to the journalists, revealed that he and his gang members had tracked the pastor and attacked him using five AK-47 rifles.
“Following an intensive investigation into the fatal attack on the convoy of Apostle Johnson Suleman along Benin-Auchi Road wherein six people, including three police personnel, were gruesomely murdered, operatives of FIB-IRT on the trail of the assailants apprehended one Yusuf Isah, a native of Okene, Kogi State and a plumber, at Agbaraoluwa Phase 2 Ijoka, Akure, Ondo State and recovered five AK 47 rifles, two K2 assault rifles, 180 live ammunition and four suspected IEDs found in his apartment,” Adejobi said.
Adejobi confirmed that the police had recovered five AK-47 rifles, two K2 rifles, and 180 live ammunition from the suspect. He further explained that some of the rifles had been stolen from the three police officers who were killed during the attack.
The police spokesman went on to reveal that Isah had admitted to the gang’s involvement in the abduction of an oil magnate and a businessman. The gang had successfully secured ransoms of N70 million and N2 million for their release, respectively.
According to Adejobi, Isah confessed to joining the criminal group in 2021 after being released from the Olokuta Correctional Centre, where he had been held since 2019 on charges related to armed robbery.
The gang specialized in kidnapping for ransom and had conducted four kidnapping operations between 2021 and 2023, including the attack on the clergyman’s convoy.
“The group specializes in kidnapping for ransom and has carried out about four kidnapping operations between 2021 and 2023, including the attack on the convoy of the cleric before the gang was eventually busted by the police.
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“The suspect 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 N70m before his release. The gang equally carried out the kidnapping of a businessman along the Benin-Agbor Expressway in 2022 and collected N20m as ransom from the victim’s family.”
Adejobi also disclosed that two members of the seven-man gang had been killed in separate encounters with the police. Efforts were underway to apprehend the remaining suspects who were still at large.