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Pastor Allegedly Fakes Self- Kidnap, Demands N10m Ransom

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Apparently in a bid to fraudulently obtain money, favour and other valuables from members of the public and his siblings, a Pastor has allegedly feigned his own kidnap.

Sources told Saturday IN­DEPENDENT that the man of God, Pastor Richard On­yekachukwu’s aim of feigning self-kidnap was to obtain mon­ey from members of his family.

Saturday INDEPENDENT gathered that it all began on June 16, 2021, when one Mr. Prosper reported to the police that his elder Brother Richard, had been kidnapped and that the perpetrators have already opened a phone line conversa­tion with them demanding a huge amount of money before Richard could be set free.

Following a petition to that effect, which was addressed to the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Alkali Baba, the police chief mandated the Force Intelligence Response Team, led by Abba Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), to immediately commence an investigation on the incident.

In fact, the IGP ordered the team to ensure the said victim was rescued unhurt.

Based on the order, opera­tives swung into action. In the course of investigation, the team visited the house of the victim.

They met his wife who looked unperturbed as if noth­ing sinister happened to her or her husband.

At that point, the operatives deceived her by telling her af­ter introducing themselves as policemen that they were on investigative mission in an al­leged case of armed robbery against her husband.

It was revealed that, at that point, the lady shouted in be­wilderment and told the police that her husband was not an armed robber, but had trav­elled to Taraba State adding that he went for a business trip.

She further told the opera­tives that she saw her husband about a week ago, but that his family members thought that he had been in captivity at the camp of kidnappers for three weeks.

He was reportedly kid­napped on May 27, 2021.

His wife claimed she saw him a week ago, which was about three weeks after he had been declared kidnapped.

At this point, she was arrest­ed for further interrogation. At the station, she confessed that the entire saga was a planned and orchestrated self-kidnap.

She confessed that her hus­band brought the idea and that she played along.

According to her confes­sions, her husband had finan­cial challenges.

She said that he was look­ing for a way to raise money to pay off the loans he collected.

“He wanted to collect the money and pay up his debt,” she told the police, adding that her husband was due to visit the house.

Armed with all this infor­mation, the Police laid an am­bush for which led to his arrest the next day, being June 18.

Following his arrest, Pastor Richard made a confessional statement that also led the po­lice to arrest his friend, Enoch.

Enoch, according to the police, posed as one of the kid­nappers, who was assigned the responsibility of asking for the ransom money.

Confessions

The 47-year-old Pastor Rich­ard Onyekachukwu confessed thus: “I am from Idemili South Local Government Area. I am the second child in a family of seven. I am a pastor and contractor. I had a big church, but the roof was blown away by the wind. The name of my church is Resurrection Pow­er Church. I took some loans to assist the businesses that I was doing to support the min­istry. It was about N600,000:00. Due to this, I found myself in financial challenges. At the same time, paying the loan became difficult. I made some losses in my poultry business and COVID-19 pandemic did not help matters.

“The banks were after me and I didn’t know what to do. I was thinking of how to get money from my younger brother, Prosper, a rich civil servant to upset the loan be­fore I was dragged to court. It wasn’t easy, that was why the thought of self-kidnap came to me. I don’t know why I decided to use that strategy.

“I called my friend Enoch and shared my thought with him. Enoch is also a pastor. Ini­tially he did not accept but af­ter sometime, he agreed. I told him that even if it is N1,000, 000 or N500,000 I will be satisfied.”

On why he requested that his brother, Prosper must bring the ransom personally, Richard said; “I have no par­ticular reason to request that my brother, Prosper should bring the money. I never even thought of that as an issue. This is something I thought that it will just end within the family. My plan was to inform him after sometime.

“I demanded for N10million and they bargained to N5 mil­lion and finally N2million. We were still waiting to hear from him when police arrested me at home.”

For his wife, Mary Onyeka­chukwu, said they were mar­ried for nine years.

“We live in Maraba, Nasar­awa State. I am a petty trader. My husband told me that he will be travelling on a busi­ness trip on May 20. After some days we could not reach him again. I called his brothers and explained to them. They said I should relax that he will come. It took about three days before someone called that my husband had been kidnapped and they were demanding N10million. After a week, he came back.

“I met him as a pastor and I was taught to be submissive. I was just being submissive; it is not about love but to obey the word of God. I don’t have any word to justify myself. I am finding it difficult to forgive myself.

Enoch Frank Nwaolishe, a 39-year-old from Awgu, Enugu state said in a confession:

“I am the founder of Christ Resurrection Power, Gospel Church of All Nations. I have no other job except evange­lism. I started the church two years before the COVID-19 shutdown. My members dis­persed and I was not able to raise money to pay rent, so I shut down the church. Rever­end Richard is my neighbour and brother-in-the Lord.

“He came to me and told me about his financial chal­lenges. He is owing micro fi­ancé banks; the landlord was at his neck and he needed money to contribute for his mother’s burial. He does not have money to contribute as an elder brother. He said that he needed my assistance and I asked in what area. He said that he wants to have himself kidnapped. He does not have anywhere to get the money from. His brother does not like to give him money. He wants to use this pattern to get money from his brother. I agreed to help him.

“He wrote a script and gave me which I acted properly, in­cluding pretending to beat him up. We normally go close to the mountain and call them from there.

“We don’t have sharing for­mular until the money comes. I want to use the money to travel to the eastern part of the country for evangelism. To survive, I used to go for out­reach program and people will sow seeds and give offerings.

“I knew that it was wrong when we got to the police sta­tion. Bible says that deceit is a sin. I don’t know which devil that entered my mind. I have only N10,000:00.

“I have a calling as far back as 2002. I served under a church till 2015 when I was officially released to go. We opened an outreach but the churches were officially opened 2003.”

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