A pastor, who was apprehended by irate mob and
beaten to stupor for alleged car theft, has been
detained by the Abia State Police Command.
The pastor, Onyenweaku Chibunnam, who is the
founder of a new generation church identified as
the Assembly of the Redeemed at Ohafia, was said
to be linked to a car robbery syndicate in the
Amaekpu-Ohafia area of the state.
He was nabbed and tied up by irate mob including
a vigilante group who reportedly caught him in the
act two days ago.
Items like several vehicle license plates and car
keys were found in his possession.
The self-acclaimed pastor, who confessed to the
crime, was handed over to operatives of the state
Confirming the arrest to newsmen while parading
the suspect at the Police Officers Mess in Umuahia,
the state capital, on Wednesday, the state
Commissioner of Police, CP, Leye Oyebade, said
Chibunnam was caught while stealing a Toyota
Camry in Ebem Ohafia community, of the Ohafia Local Government Area of the state.
He said Chibunnam was arrested with an
accomplice, Prince Nnabugwu, who confessed that
they belonged to a car-snatching syndicate.
“They were arrested after stealing the Toyota
Camry from where its owner packed it some days
“The suspects were arrested based on a tip-off.
“They confessed to have stolen six Toyota Camry
cars from Aba and sold some of them to one
Maxwell in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital,”
the CP added.
The prime suspect said they did not snatch the car,
but stole it from where it was parked.
He explained that it was their sixth in the last few
months, adding that he usually sold the cars at
60,000 to one Maxwell who resides in Port
The pastor said, “Maxwell contacted me sometime
last year to buy my car that I put up for sale, but he
didn’t give me a good price for it, so, I couldn’t sell it
to him. But when I stole an old model Toyota Camry
last year, I called him to come and take the car I
“We started having a misunderstanding when he
requested the car’s original papers and I couldn’t
provide them. I later told him that I stole the car.
“Maxwell became more interested in the business
and gave me a master key with which I could steal
Toyota Camry cars.
“I used the money from the crime to fund my 30-
“I promise not to return to crime if I am set free by
the police. It was the work of the devil,” he added.
Meanwhile, the CP, while urging members of the
public to purchase their vehicles from only genuine
car dealers, said the owner of the stolen black
Camry Saloon had recovered it.
He, however, warned criminals in the state to
relocate, saying the command would not relent in
its war against criminality in the state.