From Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia
A 33- year- old prophet and founder of the Redeem Assembly Church, Ohafia, Abia state, Prophet Chibunnam Onyenweaku, was yesterday paraded in Umuahia.
He was paraded by the new Abia State Commissioner of Police, Mr Adeleye Olusola Oyebade for allegedly stealing a Toyota Camry car, parked on the roadside by the owner, who went for a burial in the vicinity.
Prophet Onyenweaku who hails from Ezinneihite in Mbaise Imo State, was paraded with his colleague in crime, Pastor Princewill Nwabugwu, from Osisioma Ngwa, in Aba, Abia state.
The commissioner said that prophet Onyenweaku and Pastor Nwabugwu met at the Apostolic theological Seminary school, Amumara Mbaise, and after graduation, started pastoring in the apostolic church before they pulled out to open their own ministries.
“While prophet Onyenweaku opened his church at Ohafia, Nwabugwu diverted into aluminum fabrication, until car theft brought them together again.
The two “men of God” confirmed that they specialize in stealing Camry cars parked by their owners. The suspects were paraded at the Officers Mess, at Factory Road, Umuahia. He told newsmen that Prophet Onyenweaku is the founder of the Assembly of Redeemed Church of God, Elu Ohafia.
“ What they do is to monitor people who drive Camry vehicles and once you park your car, they will monitor you and immediately you move, they will use their master key to open the car and drive it away. You only come back and will not see your car again. They were arrested when they came to steal a particular Camry car that was parked by the owner on the road at Elu Ohafia.
“The owner went to wake keeping and parked his car and when they sighted the car, they came and parked their own jeep in front and one of them walked back to the parked car and used the master key to open it .
When the owner came out, he raised alarm, went to the police and vigilante group and information about the theft was circulated and every body was on guard. As the police were on surveillance, they saw the Camry coming out from Bakassi Street with the Honda CRV jeep of the prophet following. They were arrested by angry mob who burnt the prophet’s jeep and attempted to burn the two alleged thieves but for the intervention of the police.
Answering questions from newsmen, the suspects confirmed they have been stealing Toyota Camry cars parked by their owners at different places .
“The one that led to our arrest was parked along the road in Ebem Ohafia area of Abia State. I know that it is an offense to steal, but it was temptation that pushed me into this’ Princewill Nwabugwu from Osisioma Ngwa said.
Nwabugwu, who is married with children said further, “as I talk to you now, my family does not know where I am, because I was arrested since Sunday. I came to Ohafia to visit my friend and we stole this car that was parked by the roadside and we were caught and handed over to the police. I believe that my family must have reported to the police that I am missing.
“We don’t snatch cars but we steal the ones parked. I went to the same theological school with my friend, as far back as 1997, when we graduated, I pastored in some churches and left to do other things. Now I am into aluminum business”. He pleaded that the authorities should forgive them.
In his own reaction, Prophet Onyenweaku, who pastors a flock of over thirty members in his church expressed regret that he was involved in the stealing of car.
“I have over thirsty members in my church, I wonder what they will think of me now. It was temptation that led me into this problem now. Actually, what brought us here is because we stole a vehicle, me and this my friend. I was with a particular church before I opened my own which I call Redeem Assembly in Ohafia.
“I am not yet married. The other car I stole before was an old model Camry which I sold to one maxwell in Port Harcourt for N60,000.
i am 33 years old. i attended a theological school in Amumara Mbaise”, he said.
found on them are a master key that can open any type of Camry car, different car plate numbers, car documents and many other items.
in his inaugural speech earlier, the new commissioner promised to change the perception of the public, who see the police as a reactive corrupt and lethargic institution, warning that it would be dangerous to those who are not ready to imbibe the culture of professional best practices, diligence , and discipline.
“the new police being built is a proactive, community friendly, intelligence led and dynamic one that is active to the responsibility of ensuring public order, prevention of crime and protection of lives and property.
“when you are close to the people you are policing, useful information is gathered as there will be a reciprocal trust and confidence between the police and the people.”
he charged men of his command to perform their duties with the fear of god , both in their patrols, investigation of crimes and even in their treatment of suspects .
“we must be very firm , but fair, but must respect fundamental human rights of the citizens, train and retrain ourselves, and remain shining examples of valour, gallantry and sacrifice in over all interest of the public. i am a team player with other member of the team who must be able to map out and identify the effective strategies to defeat the opponent”.
he warned further that officers must eschew any for of extortion as the inspection general of police has obsession for corruption, but promised that welfare of police and men of the command would be his priority.
he promised to ensure that Abia is safe for commercial and socio political activities and requested that he be remembered in prayers, but warned all criminals in the state to flee or face the wrath of god.end