A suspect has confessed being paid to kill renowned Nigerian televangelist, Apostle Johnson Suleman.
Suleman, the founder of Omega Fire Ministry, was targeted in a frightening incident in October 2022 in Edo State, located in South-south Nigeria.
Yusuf Isa, a 32-year-old plumber from Okene in Kogi State said he and others were paid N50 million to kill the clergyman.
He was presented to the media by the Force spokesperson, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, in Abuja last week.
In a videotaped interview shared on Twitter, Isa laid out the strategic measures his eight-member team used to dodge capture by security forces, suggesting it was divine intervention that led to his arrest.
He said, “It is not easy for the Police Force to track us. We don’t make calls, the phone I am using I’ve never used it to call anybody. We specialised in using the Telegram platform to communicate with ourselves.
“Telegram uses username, not number, unlike WhatsApp. Even the line we are using to buy data, it is not a registered line. We did not register any line by ourselves, and we did not open any account with our own identity.
“I can only say that only God wanted to track me down because of the calibre of people we have assaulted.
“We wanted to kill him. Somebody planned it, but I don’t know the person. It was Labista and Eliazu. Labista is on the run, but Eliazu is dead.”
Mr Isah declined knowledge of who sponsored the attack but said his gang members told him they got N50 million to kill the cleric.
He said, “I just wish I could see him (the cleric) one on one to beg for forgiveness. I’m really sorry.”
He added that it has been “hell” for his gang members after the attack.
Isah said, “We lost two of our leaders. After Eliazu, the next leader, Ejima, also died. I am the next leader after Ejima. Now I have been arrested.”
In another Twitter video, the suspect said four gang members, three in Abuja and one in Ekiti State were still remaining.
Recall that gunmen in October last year attacked Apostle Suleman’s convoy leading to the death of seven people, including three police officers.
Isah, in his confessional video, said their driver, “Abdulrahman”, also died during the incident.
The attack occurred around the Auchi area of Edo State while Suleman was heading to an unidentified location, hours after returning from a trip to the East African country, Tanzania.
Force spokesperson, Mr Adejobi, had said Isah was arrested in Ondo State.
He said, “Intelligence revealed that the seven-man syndicate has been actively involved in kidnapping operations within Edo State and its environs and have carried out about four kidnapping operations between 2021 and 2023 before the gang was eventually busted by the police.”