A 35-year-old man, Gabriel Okani, who allegedly impersonated a seminarian was nearly mobbed by worshippers for stealing a vehicle during a priesthood ordination at Assumpta Cathedral Church of Owerri Archdiocese of the Catholic Church on Sunday.
Our correspondent gathered that while the priesthood ordination, which was presided over by Archbishop A.J.V. Obinn, was ongoing, the fake seminarian perfected his plan to steal one of the parked vehicles on the church premises.
Our correspondent gathered that the suspect wore seminarian regalia in order to beat the security men on the premises.
He was, however, nabbed when he tried to make away with a vehicle.
A source said, “When he was questioned, it was discovered that he was a fake seminarian who only came to the church to steal a vehicle while the ordination, which attracted thousands of people, was going on.”
Our correspondent gathered that the fake seminarian was rescued from the irate worshipers who wanted to lynch him.
He was then taken to the archbishop, who was inside the church auditorium.
The development momentarily disrupted the ordination service, as the archbishop and other clerics interviewed the suspect before policemen took him away.
A worshipper said the suspect confessed that his gang members were waiting for him outside the church premises.
“The suspect said he was a serial car thief and specialised in stealing Toyota brands. He said he wore the seminarian attire to make people not to suspect him,” the source said
The state police spokesperson, Andrew Enwerem, said the suspect was in police custody.
He said, “The suspect came to the church in seminarian attire with the sole aim of stealing a vehicle from the compound.”
He added that the community policing strategy of the Inspector-General of Police, which the state Commissioner of Police, Dasuki Galandanchi, was implementing, was yielding results.