… Rob Him of N72,000 at Gunpoint
By Edeh Nwige
The Pastor-in-charge of the Open Gospel Church, Onunwafor, Ezza Umuhuali in Ishelu LGA of Ebonyi State, Pastor Mike Alo was attacked on the 11th July 2019 at his Onunwafor residence and robbed him of over N72,000 and other belongings.
Briefing the reporter at Onunwankwo Umuhuali on the 12th July 2019, a youth leader in Onunwafor village who resides in the pastor’s house told the reporter the robbers numbering 2 from Egwudinagu village, Ezza Umuhuali came to the pastor’s house at about 10:00pm that Thursday, knocking, demanding to see the pastor who is known for operating Point Of Sale (POS) service, they said they want to withdraw N15,000 for their pressing problem.
He said that the students also occupy one of the apartments in the house, who came out to ascertain their purpose of the call at that time of the night, saw them, recognized them, and went inside to wake the pastor to transact the business.
They said that the pastor helps in money transaction around the area and environs.
It was gathered that the pastor came out with his bag containing the POS terminal and the money from where he would pay them.
The boys identified as Chikwado Igwe (with the pistol) popularly known as G.N.U and Nzogbu known as Agbala, on seeing the pastor, pulled the gun and they started struggling over the bag in the process the pastor was shot on his palm and the bag and other items were snatched from him and they vanished into the bush.
Some youths rallied round the scene of the incident, alerted the youths of the village who swung into action, while message was passed across to Onunwankwo youths who quickly mounted check point and vigilance unit.
They pursued the suspects, they were caught in the bush and brought to Onunwankwo at about 3 am and were identified and confirmed by the pastor as those who attacked him.
According to an eye witness account, the two suspects, Chikwado Igwe and Agala were tied hands and legs and given the beating of their lives before they confessed that they were cultists.
Also confirming the incident, Hon. Mathew Nwanga said that youths did well by following up the case and that he was intimated with the incident.
It was further gathered that the chairman of the vigilante group in the area, Mr. Chibueze Igwe demanded that one of the culprits, Chikwado Igwe be released to him, though on tied hands to interview him on the whereabouts of the said gun and the money snatched from the pastor.
It was said that he took the suspect to a corner and debarred anybody nearing them and after about an hour and half, he shouted that the suspect had fled.
It was gathered also that the youths swung into action but could not locate him.
He said that after fruitless efforts, the youths angrily released the next one Agbala and pounced on Mr. Chibueze Igwe, demanding that he must re-produce the suspect as the security chieftain in area but to no avail.
It was learnt that the youths/vigilante had vowed never to keep vigil or go against crime anymore in the area as their leader had aided and abated crime and was a partner in crime, adding that unless something was done against Mr. Chibueze Igwe, they would no longer serve as security to protect lives and property in the area.
It was gathered that on the 13th July, 2019 the pastor reported the matter to the police at Ezillo Police Station and that the police are investigating the matter.
It was further gathered that the police in the course of their findings, went to Chikwado Igwe’s house who was identified by the victim as the one who shot the gun, but noticed that he locked himself into the house, and in the process of breaking into the house, he jumped out through the widow.
It was equally gathered that in the search of his room, the pistol was recovered.
As at the time of filling this report, there has been palpable fear in Ezza Umuhuali area, as some of the secret cult members have formed gangs harassing and terrorizing the people of the area, pleading the state government and law enforcement Agencies to come to their aid.
Briefing the reporter, the Chairman of the Development Union Ezza Umuhuali, Hon. Godwin Nwanga who condemned such numerous acts, assured that the stakeholders would soon converge to deliberate on the high rate of cultism and other menace eating deep into the area.