20181216

Pastor Kidnapped In His Church Premises Regains Freedom

The General Overseer, Bible Christian Crusade Mission, based in Calabar, Cross River State, Pastor Joseph Okoro, has been freed by his abductors.

Pastor Okoro, who was abducted on Wednesday by unidentified gunmen, regained his freedom on Friday night, three days after his capture.

His release came after his abductors had demanded N12m as ransom.

Pastor Okoro was reportedly seized by the gunmen who posed as members of his church on Wednesday at the church headquarters on Webber Street, Calabar, about 8:00pm.

Narrating how the incident happened, a member of the church, Emmanuel Obongette, said, “We had our usual midweek service on Wednesday and after the worshipers left, with only a few, including protocol unit, were still within the premises while the pastor was in the office, they struck.

“After attending to some issues in the office the GO stepped out to leave for his house when the gunmen just accosted him and ordered him to come down while they drove him away in his car to unknown destination.”

He added, “They told everybody to lie down. The pastor asked us not to struggle, that he would go with them.”

Sources said the vandalised Lexus car belonging to the pastor was later found abandoned near Ikot Ansa cemetery.

When The Punch contacted the Police Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo, she confirmed the release of Pastor Okoro.

Ugbo, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said, “I have just got confirmation from the Officer in Charge of Anti-Kidnapping Unit that the man has been released. But no ransom was paid.”


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