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VIDEO: We were paid sum of N50m to abduct and kill Apostle Suleman,’ suspect confesses



We were paid sum of N50m to abduct and kill Apostle Suleman,’ suspect confesses
Apostle Johnson Suleman

The suspect said he wishes to meet the cleric face-to-face, to beg for his forgiveness. A suspect arrested over the deadly attack on the convoy of a Nigerian televangelist, Apostle Johnson Suleman, has said that they were paid N50 million to kill the cleric.

Mr Suleman, the founder of Omega Fire Ministry, was attacked in October 2022 in Edo State, South-south Nigeria.

Yusuf Isa, a 32-year-old plumber from Okene in Kogi State, was paraded by the Force spokesperson, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, in Abuja last week.

In a recorded interview posted on Twitter, Mr Isah detailed the operational tactics his eight-member gang adopted to evade arrest from security agents, saying it was only God that wanted him arrested.

“It is not easy for the Police Force to track us. We don’t make calls, the phone I am using I’ve never used it to call anybody. We specialised in using the Telegram platform to communicate with ourselves.

“Telegram uses username, not number, unlike WhatsApp. Even the line we are using to buy data, it is not a registered line. We did not register any line by ourselves, and we did not open any account with our own identity.

“I can only say that only God wanted to track me down because of the calibre of people we have assaulted.

“We wanted to kill him. Somebody planned it, but I don’t know the person. It was Labista and Eliazu. Labista is on the run, but Eliazu is dead,” he said when asked about their intention for the attack.

Mr Isah declined knowledge of who sponsored the attack but said his gang members told him they got N50 million to kill the cleric.

“I just wish I could see him (the cleric) one on one to beg for forgiveness. I’m really sorry,” he said, adding that it has been “hell” for his gang members after the attack.

“We lost two of our leaders. After Eliazu, the next leader, Ejima, also died. I am the next leader after Ejima. Now I have been arrested.”

In another Twitter video, the suspect said four gang members – three in Abuja and one in Ekiti State – were still remaining.

The Attack

PREMIUM TIMES in October last year reported how the gunmen attacked Mr Suleman’s convoy, killing seven people, including three police officers.

Mr Isah, in his confessional video, said their driver, “Abdulrahman”, also died during the incident.

The attack occurred around the Auchi area of Edo State while Mr Suleman was heading to an unidentified location, hours after returning from a trip to the East African country, Tanzania.

The cleric had described the attack as an “assassination attempt”.

Force spokesperson, Mr Adojobi, had said Mr Isah was arrested in Ondo State.

“Intelligence revealed that the seven-man syndicate has been actively involved in kidnapping operations within Edo State and its environs and have carried out about four kidnapping operations between 2021 and 2023 before the gang was eventually busted by the police.”

Attack on Clerics

Gunmen in Edo State have carried out a series of high-profile kidnappings in the state and, in many cases, killed their victims.

This newspaper last month reported how a Catholic priest in the state, Charles Igechi, was killed while on his way back from St. Michael’s College, a School where he served as Vice Principal.

Mr Igechi was the second Catholic priest to be killed in the state by gunmen within one year.

In June 2022, reported how Christopher Odia, the administrator of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Ikabigbo, in Etsako West Local Government Area of the state, was abducted while coming out for Sunday Mass at his rectory and killed a few hours after.

A week after Mr Odia was killed, gunmen in the state again abducted two Catholic priests, Udo Peter of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Uromi and Philemon Oboh of St. Joseph Retreat Center, Ugboha in Esan South East Local Government Area, this newspaper reported.

This newspaper, in July 2022, reported how the police rescued an Italian Catholic priest, Luigi Brena, who gunmen abducted in Edo.

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