Defence & Security

Gunmen kidnap Apostle John Okoriko, demand N100m ransom in A’ Ibom

ISAAC JOB, UYO

The Founder and President of Solid Rock Kingdom Church Apostle John Okoriko has been reportedly abducted by unknown gunmen in the church premises at Ibekwe Akpan Nya in Mkpat Enin local government area, Akwa Ibom state.

Family sources disclosed that the abductors have established contact and demand N100m ransom.

An eyewitness told our correspondent that the gunmen invaded the residence of the pastor located in the church premises as they jumped through the fence and force their way into the sitting room.

Continuing, he said the gunmen started shooting sporadically and dragged the octogenarian outside scaring others and whisked him away.

He disclosed that Okoriko was dragged into the nearby bush where his abductors escaped with the victim to an unknown destination.

Narrating the incident amidst tears, he said the police was contacted immediately and some youths joined police to comb the bush in search of the man of God all to no avail.

He explained that the incident which occurred at about 5 pm on Tuesday has thrown the church and the entire Ibekwe community into panic as the whereabouts of the pastor is unknown.

The Trumpet gathered that almost all the branches of the church held prayer sessions to pray for the man of God to regain his freedom

It could be recalled that kidnappers have laid siege to Ekparakwa in OrukAnam local government and neighbouring villages in Mkpat Enin council area where more than 15 persons have been abducted and released after paying ransom to the hoodlums.

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Our Correspondent gathered that others who could not afford the ransom were gruesomely killed as decomposing bodies were found in farmlands within Ekparakwa and Mkpat Enin axis.

A Medical Doctor was also kidnapped while operating on a patient in the theatre at Health Care centre Ikot Ekpaw in the community last month and had regained freedom after an undisclosed ransom was paid.

Meanwhile, Akwa Police Command confirmed the incident and assured the public that the kidnappers would be brought to book.

In a telephone interview with The Trumpet in Uyo on Wednesday, Akwa Ibom state Police Public Relations Officer SP Odiko Macdon said the command has received a report on the incident and Commissioner of Police Andrew Amiengheme has ordered for investigation into the matter.

“We have received the report and the CP has ordered for an investigation to commence.

“As I speak a lot has been done already, I want to believe that we will get to the root of it in no distance time,” Macdon said.

He noted that a crime has been committed adding that the police command has been working assiduously to unravel the crime and bring perpetuators to book.

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