Controversies as police withdraw DPO over attack on Apostle Suleman


Apostle Suleman

By Jethro Ibileke

Controversies are brewing over alleged assassination attempt on controversial, fiery General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministry, Apostle Johnson Suleman.

Yet to be revealed number of gunmen had attacked the convoy of the Auchi-based preacher Friday evening along Warake Road, as he was returning to his base in Auchi.

While Apostle Suleman escaped death reportedly with the aid of his bullet proof vehicle, six people including three police officers and three aides of the Cleric were killed by the gunmen.

One other aide of the Cleric was reportedly whisked away by the gunmen.

Police identified names of the victims as Police Inspectors Igbaugba Paragon, Afensumu Philip and Akpolor Monday on Saturday.

Others killed were Ahmed Promise, Momoh Ilegogi and Janet (surname unknown), while one Vera (surname unknown), was suspected to have been whisked away by the assailants.

It was gathered that one of the hoodlums was later apprehended and shot dead by police operatives in Auchi division. The killing of the suspect has led to speclations about alleged plot to cover up the attackers.

Few hours after the attack, the fiery cleric went on air via his tweeter handle to raise alarm about the alleged killing of the arrested suspect by the police.

He alleged that the attack was not carried out by suspected kidnappers, but an attempt by his enemies.

According to him, “Lies…they weren’t kidnappers…He was caught and handed over and the police killed him immediately. Why? why killing him on the spot, who is trying to cover up traces?” he queried.

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Meanwhile, the outgoing CP of Edo Police Command, [now AIG] Abutu Yaro, has ordered the withdrawal of the DPO Auchi, CSP Ayodele Suleiman, for debriefing at the command’s headquarters in Benin, with immediate effect over the alleged killing of the suspect.

The Command’s deputy spokesperson, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu, issued two separate statements Saturday afternoon, confirming the names of the victims and the withdrawal of the DPO.

She urged members of the public to remain calm and patient as no stone would be left unturned to unearth the circumstances surrounding the killing of the suspect.

“As part of the measures of the Command concerning the circumstances that led to the death of one of the surviving members of the monstrous gang that attacked the convoy of Apostle Johnson Suleiman, General overseer of Omega Fire Ministry, the outgoing CP now AIG Abutu Yaro fdc has ordered the withdrawal of CSP Ayodele Suleiman, DPO Auchi for debriefing at the State Headquarters with immediate effect,” the statement said.

Commenting on the attack, ASP Iwegbu disclosed that on receipt of the news of the attack, the “DPO Auchi immediately mobilised policemen, gave the assailants a hot chase, and engaged them. One of the assailants was neutralized in the process and one Toyota Avensis car with Reg[istration] No. LAGOS KRD 92 HU, was also recovered.

“The bodies of the deceased have since been deposited at the morgue while intense bush coming and intelligence gathering is still ongoing for possible arrests of the assailants.

“The outgoing CP, now AIG Abutu Yaro, fdc has ordered the DC CID, DCP Samuel Olawore, Explosive and Ordinance Investigators and Forensic experts to the scene, while Tactical Teams led by the AC OPs, ACP James Chu are advancing to the general area to conduct further coordinate pursuit of the assailants .

“He commensurate with the bereaved families and prays to God to console them, as the authority of the Nigerian Police Force share from the moment of their grief while assuring that the perpetrators of this heinous crime must be brought to book to face the consequences of their action.

“The Command while appealing for calm promised that it will use all of its Human and material resources towards ensuring that the assailants are brought to book.

“It further urges the good people of the State to swiftly report any strange movement, or unusual gathering within their environment to the police and other sister security agencies noting that security is everybody’s business,” the statement said.

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