News and Views

Meet a Niegrian ‘pastor of kidnappers’ who has her own gang

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Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr Usman Gwary told Sunday Sun that Onwura ran a business of giving money to criminals who were members of her evil congregation to rent guns for robbery and kidnapping of peo­ple and snatching cars. Some of the victims kidnapped by her accomplices were then held hostage in her hotel.

With about 60 members, Gwary further disclosed that Onwura “deceived the people by claiming to be a miracle worker. She also practiced tradi­tional medicine, which she used to help barren women conceive and have children.”

Typical of all criminal per­sons, Onwura’s world began to unravel when a member of a gang that regularly patronized her was arrested by police in April 2014 after the gang kid­napped one Mr. Felix Obienuwa on March 2, 2014. The victim’s family paid N5 million ransom.

Fortuitously, the Commander of the SARS, Supol James Nwa­for and his men arrested two of the alleged kidnappers. During interrogation they mentioned Onwura as the source of the guns used by them for their rob­bery and kidnapping operations. They also revealed that they regularly gave her a share of the money received as ransom.

Armed with this information, Supol Nwafor and the SARS team stormed the hotel and arrested Onwura and her female assistant, Mrs. Chioma Okafor, who she always sent to give money to robbers and kidnap­pers to rent guns.

Gwary added that the men of SARS recovered two stolen cars from Onwura. One of the cars, a Toyota Camry, was recovered in the premises of the hotel while the second one was recovered from the workshop of a me­chanic in Onitsha, where it was being modified and repainted preparatory to its sale.

In an interview with Sunday Sun, Onwura who hails from Orumba South Local Govern­ment Area of Anambra State said she had been in Christian ministry for 20 years, a claim that was clearly at variance with her skin that had been severely burnt by bleaching creams.

Her words: “I attended Inter­national Bible College in 2010 and graduated in 2012. I have a hotel called Moon Hotel which I operate myself. I have a gang of kidnappers who I give money to rent guns which they use for kidnapping and snatching of cars.”

She added: “I have six children. One of my sons was kidnapped in 2013. He was killed and his body thrown into a well. Usually I give one mem­ber of my church, Mrs Chioma Okafor N35,000 to give to a gang member to rent a gun for their operations. After one of their operations, I bought a stolen Toyota Camry from them at the cost of N200, 000. I also bought another car, which I gave to a mechanic to re-paint for me.”

Onwura acknowledged practicing traditional medicine and said she ended up in police custody when Chidera Mube, a member of a gang was arrested and he mentioned her as their accomplice.

Corroborating this, Mube said: “We kidnapped Mr. Felix Obienuwa on March 2, 2014. We collected N5million from his relations and also gave part of the money to her (Onwura). It was when I was arrested by the men of SARS that I confessed to them that it was Pastor Onwura who always rented out guns to us and we used her hotel to strategize on how to carry out our operations. Some of our gang members attend her church, which she used to deceive people, but she is totally involved in kidnapping and armed robbery.”

On her part, 21-year-old Okafor, Onwura’s personal assistant, recounted that she  had been married for five years without a child and it was the desire to have a child that made her seek help from the self-ac­claimed pastor and traditional medicine practitioner.

Okafor said: “I was bar­ren for five years after I got married. Somebody introduced me to Pastor Onwura who gave me a certain herb to take. After taking the medicine, I got pregnant and delivered a baby boy on February 14, 2010. Right now, I am two months pregnant. That was when I started attending her church. She told me that God had called me to join her ministry and that I should no longer hawk on the street. I am a full member of the church and I clean the church premises. I didn’t know she was a criminal until she confessed to police­men that she bought stolen car from a member of her gang. In fact, when she brought the car to the church, we were all rejoicing that she had bought a car. We did not know it was a stolen car.”

With police investigation now at advanced stage, all the suspects would soon have their day in court.

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