It was gathered that the Nigeria Police Force on Wednesday said it had arrested four suspected kidnappers and killers of 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 were arrested between September 1 and 14 in Bauchi, Enugu and Benue States respectively.
Awunah said the suspects, who confessed to the crime, said they collected a ransom of N1.7 million from the family before killing Adeyi.
Awunah said in the course of investigation, Abdullahi told the police he fired the shot that killed Adeyi.
Awunah said: “The suspect led the police to a bush in Orokam area of Benue were three guns used for the operation were buried.”
He said that 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 Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, directive 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 liters 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 the various role each of them played in the criminal enterprise.
Awunah said investigation was being intensified to arrest other suspects and their cohorts.
Other suspects arrested by the police included a notorious 17-member gang who 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 jeep, one Peugeot wagon, a Chevrolet jeep and one Honda Accord car.
He said that they were arrested by the police after a tip off that they were oprating 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.
He assured that all the suspects would be arraigned in court on completion of investigation.
In a remark, the Deputy Governor of Benue State, Benson Abounu, who led the state delegation, said the state government had set up a committee when there seemed to be no hope, to find the late Reverend.
Abounu said that crime rate, which became high in the state in the last two years, had now reduced drastically following the proactive measures being taken by the state government.