The Police in Cross River State on Saturday killed a pastor in Akamkpa Local Government of the state, identified as John on suspicion of being an armed robber.
Three other suspected gang members were also arrested after a fierce gun duel that lasted into the night.
The pastor and his gang were alleged to have raided some buildings in the residential quarters of lecturers of the Cross River College of Education on Saturday, dispossessing their victims of money and valuables.
PUNCH Metro learnt on Sunday that after the robbery operation, the gang converged on a drinking spot, not more than three kilometres from the scene of the robbery, to share their loot.
In the process of sharing their loot, according to a commercial motorcyclist who witnessed the scene, Mr. Dennis Egom, someone informed the police who immediately swooped on them and a gun battle ensued.
“When the police came there was an exchange of gun fire and one of them was killed, one escaped while three were arrested,” Egom said.
The pastor, Egom said, was well known in the area and was thought to be a real man of God until the incident.
“He got born again some years ago and was carrying Bible to preach to people and soon became a pastor in the church (name withheld) in 2011. But unknown to some of us who knew him as well as his followers and other residents, John was an armed robber whose real identity was revealed the day he was killed,” he said.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. John Umoh, confirmed the incident.
He said, “The police in Akamkpa had a gun battle with some robbers who robbed some academic doctors teaching at the College of Education in Akamkpa and one of them died as a result of bullet wounds, while three others who were arrested are now in our custody.”
Umoh said efforts were being intensified to apprehend the other members of the gang that escape, adding “we are making effort to arrest the one on the run and to bring him to justice.”