The Delta State Police Command says it has launched full scale manhunt for a pastor and General Overseer, Kennedy Ogbedo, of a new generation church in Asaba for his alleged involvement in serial kidnappings in the state.
DSP Andrew Aniamaka, the police spokesman in the state, who confirmed this to our reporter in Asaba on Sunday, said: “The pastor of the church “Christ the King Mission”, Kennedy Ogbedo, is wanted for serial kidnappings in the state, and the recent kidnap saga of a wealthy member of his church.”
The church located around Ibori Golf Course, Asaba, with branches along Nnebisi Road, Asaba, and South East, is at present deserted.
It was gathered that the pastor, who also doubles as general overseer, had fled Asaba to an unknown destination, while pastors of the church’s branches have gone into hiding for fear of the police arrest.
DSP Aniamaka further confirmed that a lady friend of the pastor who had allegedly been linked to connecting “deals” for the pastor, one Elizabeth Tobechukwu, had been arrested, adding that she was being interrogated at the State CID.
Investigation revealed that the kidnapped victim, Chief Benjamin Kpurunkun, a wealthy business man and member of the church, was taken to an uncompleted building in Okwe axis where he was later moved out to an unknown destination.
Family sources said the kidnappers on the fateful day allegedly shot dead the victim’s house help, one Chinyere Joy before taking him away in a tinted car with no plate number.
But a source, John Job, who spoke to our reporter, said: “The whole saga started on May 7, 2018, when the family of the victim reported at police “A” Division that Chief Benjamin was kidnapped, and that the kidnappers were demanding for N100million ransom, and recharge cards to recharge their phones.
“The police moved into the issue, unfortunately, no headway until it was taken over by the state CID”.
It was further learnt that through tracking method, the police discovered that the “on the run pastor’s female friend, a member of the church, was involved hence she was arrested and confessed to the crime and also allegedly mentioned the pastor’s name.
Further investigation revealed that the pastor, who got wind of his female friend’s arrest fled his home with his wife and two children to yet an unknown destination, a situation the police detectives who spoke on condition of anonymity said prompted their intense manhunt for him.
Speaking further, DSP Aniamaka said: “The police detectives are out to fish out the pastor, we have rescued the abducted business man, and arrested four suspects including the pastor’s lady friend. They are in the police custody, the woman confessed to the crime that the pastor makes more money via kidnappings as the kingpin; the pastor hides under his church to do evil”.
Some of the church members, who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity, said: “We knew our pastor was not a clean man because of the way and manner he does things.
“This is nemesis, he can’t escape it, there will be more about him when arrested”.