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Policeman Turned Pastor Leads Robbery Gang

When 35-year-old Corporal Christian Oboko, attached to Rivers State Police Command, was arrested for armed robbery, his colleagues were stunned. 

They were shocked because Oboko was not just an ordinary policeman, he was a resident Pastor of Battle Axe Assembly Church, located at the Chuba Allo area of Port Harcourt.

Oboko started his armed robbery career using two pistols his police team recovered from suspected robbers. He was known for always mounting the pulpit to preach about salvation and hell fire. He was also known for preaching to his colleagues at the slightest opportunity. Indeed, Oboko was trusted and respected among his peers.

But his sins appear to have finally found him out. Perhaps the most shocking of all is the fact that Oboko, who is a pastor and a corporal, is actually the leader of the robbery gang. He said: “I don’t know what came over me. I’m the resident Pastor of Battle Axe Assembly Church, located at the Chuba Allo area of Port Harcourt.

I have the calling from God to be a pastor. I don’t know what made me join this evil business of robbery.” Oboko’s double life was blown open after one of his gang members, John Paul Amandi, 27, was arrested by the former Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase’s Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT), deployed to Rivers State to investigate activities of car snatchers.

Immediately Amandi was arrested, he knew his days of terror had ended. With a resigned look on his face, he started singing like a bird. While spilling the beans, he mentioned his leader, Oboko. Oboko was arrested, tried and dismissed from the force.

Before his dismissal, Oboko was attached to a Special Police Squad codenamed C4I, in Rivers State. He was arrested along with three others. Oboko resides in Police Barack, in the Borokiri area of Port Harcourt. He and his gang members confessed to having stolen many vehicles within Port Harcourt.

They sell the stolen cars to buyers in Owerri, Imo State. A police source said: “Oboko provided guns for the gang. Whenever the gang was moving stolen vehicles through interstate, he would go with them to ensure no security agents would disturb them on the road.”

The source continued: “Whenever any of the gang members were arrested, Oboko would get them bailed using police influence and lies. He often produced fake vehicle documents for every stolen vehicle. He would ensure the engine and chassis numbers of the vehicles were changed before selling them. Amandi’s confessions aided the police in arresting Oboko.”

Recollecting his journey into crime, Amandi said he was a commercial bus driver before he took to car snatching like duck to water. He explained that his friend, Kelvin, otherwise known as Side Mirror, was a fellow driver, but had more money. It was Kelvin that eventually talked him into becoming an armed robber.

Amandi said: “Kelvin and I were driving other people’s vehicles, but he spends more money. When my wife went into labour, things got bad. I needed money. I ran to Kelvin. I begged him to assist me with some money. It was at that point he revealed to me that commercial bus driving wasn’t his only job.

He took me to his boss; one Okute, at Diop area of Port Harcourt. I was accepted into the gang because I was a good driver. “When I joined, I discovered Okute had many boys working for him. On the day first day I went there, I met Ifeanyi, Onu, Ama-Boy, Patoranki, Pikin and many others.

Whenever our boss wanted to go out for an operation, he would come to our base at Market Junction in Port Harcourt to pick any of us.” According to Amandi, the gang stole a Toyota Camry at Market Junction in his first operation.

The car was stolen from where it was parked. The car was sold to one Kabiru, an army officer. Amandi further recounted: “In my second operation, we stole five cars in one night. It was three of us that went for that operation. We parked all the cars at Diop. The following day, we called Ifeanyi and an ex-policeman to drive the cars to Owerri.

We gave the five vehicles to Kabiru who first paid N500, 000 for two Camry cars. Okute later went alone to collect the balance. He gave me N60, 000 as my share. Kelvin and I became angry with Okute.” The gang started quarrelling over the sharing of the m o n e y until they split.

Amandi said: “When I called Okute, he said he wouldn’t work with us anymore. He said we didn’t trust him. Two of my friends, who once kidnapped a former local government Chairman in Bayelsa State, brought two cars for me to sell in Port Harcourt.

I was checking the cars in Nembe Waterside when Corporal Oboko and one of his colleagues confronted us. They took the cars away from us. But they didn’t take the cars to the station. They converted the cars to their personal use. Three months after that incident, Oboko saw me on the road and said I should forgive him. He said he would like to work with me.

He took me to his boss at C4I and told the man that I was highly resourceful and could furnish police information about armed robbers. “His boss promised to reward me handsomely if I assisted them. I accepted. I was able to give them information that led to the arrest of some armed robbers.

They recovered assorted arms and ammunition. I was rewarded as promised. After some months, Oboko called me and said the car he impounded from me was giving him problems. He said he wanted me to get him another car.”

Amandi said that he was shocked by the request because Oboko was a policeman and a known pastor within the police command. He however told Oboko that he stopped car snatching after becoming an informant to Rivers State Police Command.

Oboko however urged him to go back to his old ways, just to get him a new car. Oboko promised to go with Amandi for the operation in order to facilitate everything for him. Amandi said: “Both of us went for the first operation and stole a Honda ‘End of Discussion car’. He gave his father the old car and started using the new one.

Oboko saw how easy it was to steal cars and wanted more. He established contact with a guy that used to buy stolen cars in Owerri and we started stealing cars everywhere in Port Harcourt. We stole many cars and sold them. We shared the proceeds 50-50. Oboko and I became so close that whenever I was arrested, my family would call him.

He would come to the station and tell police that I was his boy, working with Rivers State Command.” Initially, the gang only stole cars from where they were parked, but Oboko brought two guns recovered from suspects and the gang went to a new level.

Amandi said that they carried out many operations using the guns, but that things began to fall apart after he (Amandi) discovered that Oboko was cheating him. Amandi said: “Oboko started cheating me. After robbing a car he would sell it, but wouldn’t give me my share.

He also stopped taking me along. He recruited new boys, some of whom he got to know through me. Not long after that I was arrested and I led police to arrest him.” Oboko, without batting an eyelid, confessed to having stolen only eight vehicles, but detectives believed he had stolen more. He also confessed to having sold some of the cars to one Victor in Owerri. Oboko insisted that it was Amandi, his informant, who lured him into robbery.

He said: “I joined the Nigeria Police Force in April 2003. I served at Boroki Police Division; from there I was posted to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) before joining C4I. I started car snatching in 2015 after I met Amandi. He was our informant and he lured me into robbery. It all started after Amandi brought two vehicles and gave one Victor Nwogu to sell. I met them during the negotiation and from there I pleaded to join them.”

Source: Nairanaija news

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