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Mob sets church ablaze over pastor’s alleged killing 11-year-old for ritual

An eyewitness said one among the three persons who kidnapped the girl on Thursday evening and killed her was caught and he confessed to the crime, prompting the Police to take the pastor into custody.

A church belonging to a pastor, named as Anthony Obo, has been set ablaze by mob for allegedly killing of an 11-year-old girl in Calabar.The pastor, whose church, was located at 6, Abua Street, off Edgerly road in Calabar South Council of Cross River State, at mid-morning yesterday escaped being lynched by an angry mob, which succeeded in burning down the church.

An eyewitness said one among the three persons who kidnapped the girl on Thursday evening and killed her was caught and he confessed to the crime, prompting the Police to take the pastor into custody.

The eyewitness said: “The girl was killed and her heart removed and put in a basin obviously to be used for ritual. This was discovered in the pastor’s church, so we had to set this place on fire to stop him from coming back to commit havoc again.”

The church, which is an attachment to the front of the main building, used to serve as a shop, but was converted to a church in 2015.According to a source, the pastor was a commercial motorcycle (okada) rider until the then governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, outlawed operations of commercial motorcycle in Calabar and he started a church in his single room apartment at Atamunu Road, where he lived.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo, confirmed the incident, saying the pastor was in Police custody and investigation was ongoing.
A similar incident occurred on Thursday in Okon Edak Street in same council, where another pastor was alleged to have killed an 18 months old baby boy for ritual.

The pastor of the church (name withheld) had contracted a boy in the neighbourhood to supply him a child for a spiritual assignment for a fee.According to an eyewitness, the parents of the baby realised that their child was missing and accosted the boy, who confessed and took them to the church, where the pastor was seen in a blood stained dress, while the little child was already killed and his inner parts removed.

This attracted neighbors, who were only stopped from lynching the pastor, a father of four, by the prompt intervention of the Police. The church was ransacked and its altar desecrated.

Items found in the altar include ladies and men underwear, wooden dolls of men and women tied together with their photographs, photos of persons being padlocked, dresses and shoes supposedly belonging to victims.

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Anthony Obo


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