The Nigeria Police Force yesterday said it had arrested four suspected kidnappers and killers of the late Rev. Fr. John Adeyi, the Parish Priest of St. Benard’s Parish, Okpoga of the Catholic Diocese of Otukpo in Benue State.
The suspects are: Suleiman Goma, 30, leader; Saidu Abdullahi, 28, deputy leader; Aliyu Garba, 26; and Haruna Idi, 27.
The Force spokesman, Deputy Commissioner of Police Don Awunah, who addressed newsmen, said the suspects arrested between September 1 and September 14 in Bauchi, Enugu and Benue states confessed to the crime, and that they collected a ransom of N1.7 million from the family before killing Adeyi.
Awunah added that in the course of investigation, Abdullahi told the police he fired the shot that killed Adeyi.
“The suspect led the police to a bush in Orokam area of Benue State where three guns used for the operation were buried.”
He said items recovered from the hoodlums included three locally- fabricated guns, a Nokia Lumia cell phone belonging to the late Adeyi and a black Gicent cell phone model M9.
The spokesman said the arrest followed the directive by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.
He said the suspects would soon be arraigned in court for prosecution.
In a related development, the police said it had arrested six suspects for vandalising pipelines and recovered 14 trucks loaded with 33,000 litres of petrol.
Awunah said three short tanker trucks loaded with 11,000 litres of adulterated diesel were also recovered from the suspects.
The suspects are: Frank Adakpa, Mallam Asafa, Fatai Bashir, Yahaya Mohammed, Umar Abdullahi and Wasiu Adeboye.
Awunah said the suspects confessed to various roles each of affirming that investigation was being intensified to arrest other suspects.
Other suspects arrested by the police included a notorious 17-member gang, which specialises in pipeline vandalism.
Awunah said items recovered from them included two tanker trucks loaded with 33,000 litres of petrol, one Toyota Rav 4 Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), one Peugeot Station Wagon, a Chevrolet SUV and one Honda Accord car.
He said they were arrested by the police after a tip-off that they were operating at Ijora Olopa area of Lagos.
Awunah revealed: “Though the suspects upon interrogation volunteered confessional statements to the police, investigation is being intensified to arrest others at large.”