A pastor with a new generation church in Eneka, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, identified as Sodje Masodje, has been arrested by operatives of the 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, over the alleged disappearance of a 20-year-old undergraduate, Beauty Nwigbaranee.
According to PUNCH, Beauty, a final year student of Education at the Rivers State University, was said to have visited Pastor Masodje, who was suspected to be her lover on Christmas Day (December 25th, 2020) and had not been seen ever since.
Counsel for the missing girl’s family, Gobari Deebom, told journalists in Port Harcourt on Monday that it was a suspected case of abduction.
Deebom said the undergraduate had told some family members that she was going to visit the pastor, adding that her parents became suspicious when he (cleric) called a few days later, asking for Beauty.
The lawyer said, “It is a suspected case of abduction since 25th December, 2020 when she visited a pastor, also suspected to be her boyfriend or man friend.”
“Since that 25th till 26th, 27th December, 2020, her phone went off. The pastor called the family members of Beauty asking for her whereabouts.”
“They said Beauty told them that she was visiting him and that they have not seen her back home since then. He said okay, Beauty is coming to see them, though they should not disclose it to her father that they have not seen Beauty.”
“They kept to that not until after four days when they didn’t see her; they contacted the father who now reported to the Nigerian Army, 6 Division, Port Harcourt.”
“He was arrested and has been in their custody,” Deebom explained, but noted that he wanted the police to take over the matter to pave the way for proper investigation.”
The lawyer said the family had expressed their readiness to pay ransom if she was kidnapped and have appealed to the pastor do open up to no avail.
Efforts to reach the spokesman of the 6 Division, Major Charles Ekeocha, for confirmation proved abortive as he neither answered several calls to his mobile phone nor replied to a text message send to him.
When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni, said the matter had not been reported to the Command.