Gunmen invade Akwa Ibom church, abduct 80-year-old pastor, demand N100m

Apostle John Okoriko

Gunmen on Tuesday abducted the founder of the Solid Rock Kingdom Church, Apostle John Okoriko, at Ibekwe Akpan Nya, in the Mkpat Enin Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

Our correspondent learnt that the hoodlums reached out to the family and demanded a ransom of N100m for his release.

It was gathered that the gunmen scaled through the fence, forced their way into the church compound and shot into the air to scare their victims.

An eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent in Uyo on Wednesday that the gang dragged the octogenarian outside the gate and whisked him away.

According to the witness, the police were contacted immediately and some youths joined the policemen to comb the bushes in search of the man of God.

He added that the incident threw the church and the community into panic, as the whereabouts of the pastor was unknown.

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“Suspected gunmen came to the church premises after jumping through the wall and made their way to the sitting room, where they dragged the pastor away. They shot into the air to scare away their victims.

“The police were contacted almost immediately, and some of the police officers joined the youth in search of the missing pastor, but to no avail,” he added.

The spokesman for the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Odiko Macdon, who confirmed the abduction of the pastor, said the command had commenced investigation into the incident.

He noted that the abduction happened on Tuesday, April 19, around 5pm at the victim’s residence in Mkpat Enin.

“We have received the report and the Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, has ordered an investigation into the incident. As I speak to you, a lot has been done already. I want to believe that we will get to the root of it in no distance time,” Macdon added.

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