Police quiz bishop for allegedly sponsoring Avengers

Police detectives from the Delta State Command have quizzed a bishop of a new generation church in Warri over allegation of sponsoring the militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers.

Our correspondent gathered that the bishop (name withheld), hails from Ogbinbiri community of Egbema (Ijaw) Kingdom in the Warri North Council Area of the state and is the presiding bishop of the New Salvation Zion Church of Christ at Igbodu area of the city.

Security sources, who confided in our correspondent, said the church leader was invited for interrogation following two petitions alleging that he was funding the militant group.

The interrogation was conducted at the Warri Area Command of the Delta State Police Command.

Our correspondent learnt that the clergyman was interrogated from 8am to about 8pm last week Wednesday before he was allowed to go and ordered to report the following day for further questioning.

A closed relative of the suspected clergyman confirmed the development to our correspondent on condition of anonymity.

It was gathered that the petitions also alleged that the cleric was harbouring weapons both in his house and church.

The situation led to the search of the Ijaw clergyman’s residence at Bendel Estate in Effurun, Uvwie Council Area of the state, and his church building in Igbodu area of Warri.

It was further gathered that the IPO in charge of the case led heavily armed policemen, including a team of Explosives Ordinance Detectives, to comb the bishop’s house but nothing incriminating was found at both places.

When this correspondent contacted him on the issue on the phone, an aide to the bishop who picked the call simply said, “We are still on the matter. He will call you later,” and he dropped the call.

When however contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, SP Celestina Kalu, claimed not to be aware of the development. She promised to investigate and get back to our correspondent with further clarification.

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