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Friday, 4 April 2014

Popular Pastor Noted For Carrying-Out Deliverance On People Arrested For Kidnapping

A self-proclaimed deliverance Pastor, Emmanuel Chigozie Okpara, was arraigned and remanded in prison on Wednesday by a magistrate court sitting in Oke Eda, Akure, Ondo State in an alleged kidnapping case.

The Pastor appeared in court with 27-year-old Evelyn Jonathan, who is also facing charges of kidnapping and possession of weapons. Others who joined Pastor Okpara and Evelyn in the act are now on the run.

But Pastor Okpara, who said he is the pastor of Believer’s Prayer Ministry in Owerri, Imo State, insisted that he had nothing to do with the abduction, adding that the kidnappers had approached him for prayers.

During his police interrogation, Pastor Okpara said:

"I never knew they wanted to kidnap the child because when we arrived in Akure I was inside the vehicle when they brought the baby and one of them brought out a gun and said this was a case of kidnapping and anybody who misbehaves would be shot and that was how it all started."

The police is however accusing him of complicity with a group of boys in the abduction of a 2-year-old baby, Bolanle Olowokere, the daughter of Mr and Mrs Bayo Olowookere in March of this year.

At the time of the abduction, the group stole the mother’s cell phone and cash of Naira 200,000. A week ago, Ondo State Commissioner of Police, Isaac Chinoyerem Eke, paraded the pastor and Evelyn.

The Prosecutor handling the case, ASP Zakari Ibrahim, told the court that the accused were armed with guns and other dangerous weapons while carrying out the kidnapping. He also countered the Pastor’s claim that he was innocent when the told the court that during the police investigation they discovered it was the Pastor who took the kidnapped baby to Evelyn Jonathan in Bayelsa State before calling the mother of the child and demanding N10million ransom.

According to police sources, Pastor Okpara held the baby hostage for 10 days before he was caught.

Chief Magistrate Johnson Adelegan, presiding in court, did not accept the plea of the Pastor but ordered that he and Evelyn should be remanded in prison custody, pending legal advice from the Office of the DPP.

Pastor Okpara and Evelyn will remain in prison till April 29, 2014, when the trial is expected to start.

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