The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has paraded one of the suspects responsible for the attempted assassination of the founder of the Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Suleiman in October 2022.
The police paraded 32-year-old Yusuf Isah, on Thursday for the failed assassination bid on the cleric last year.
On October 21, a group of armed men ambushed the convoy of Suleiman along the Auchi area of Edo State. Six people including three police officers were killed.
Speaking to the press while parading the suspect, the police spokesperson CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi disclosed that Isah was the suspect who first pulled the trigger on the convoy of the cleric.
He said, “Operatives of the FIB on the trail of the assailants apprehended this suspect, Yusuf Isah, a native of Okene, Kogi State, at Agabara Oluwatobi Phase 2, A plumber, and recovered five AK-47, two K2 Assault Rifles, 180 Live Ammunition, and four suspected locally made IEDs, one pistol, four rounds of 9mm ammunition found in his apartment.
“Investigation revealed that the suspect was part of the seven-man gang responsible for the attack on the convoy of the Apostle and some of the rifles found in his possession were riffles snatched from the three police officers that were killed during the October 21, 2022 attack.
The gang, according to the police specializes in kidnapping for ransom and had carried out about four kidnapping operations between 2021 and 2023, before they were busted by the Police. Two members of the seven-man gang were said to have been gunned down in separate encounters with the Police.
“The suspect further confessed the plan of the gang on October 21, 2022, was to forcefully kidnap the Apostle and collect a huge ransom. They had trailed him for days and planted an informant on Benin – Auchi express road to feed them updates on his itinerary on the day of the attack.
“The gang opened fire on the convoy upon its approach but their key target managed to escape the attack. Efforts are ongoing to apprehend other suspects who are still at large”.
The police noted that the suspect had confessed to joining the gang in 2021 after he was freed from Olokuta Correctional Service, where he was on remand since 2019 for alleged involvement in an armed robbery.
Reacting to the accusations, the suspect admitted to being a part of the team that attempted to assassinate the cleric.
He said, “It was a case of assassination, but I don’t have the details of the operation. It was Ilaisu El-Labista that have the full information. I am the first person that pulled fire on the convoy of Apostle Suleiman”.
Isah is among the 20 suspects separately paraded at the IRT unit of the Police Force in Abuja on Thursday.
According to Adejobi, the police had arrested 548 armed robbery suspects, 242 Kidnapp suspects, 365 murder/ homicide suspects, and about 237 suspects for rape/ defilement in the last two months.
He added, “While about 113 victims of Kidnapping were successfully rescued within the period under review.
“Additionally, in furtherance of efforts emplaced by the Force to mop up illegal weapons and curb the proliferation of illicit firearms in the country, about 306 firearms and 3,944 ammunition of different calibers were recovered across the country”.