Unknown gunmen have killed the Founder and Head Pastor of Love Fire Ministry, Pastor Godwin Emmanuel.
The deceased, who was also known as Prophet Speed, was reportedly shot dead, on Sunday night, along Oko Central road, off Airport road, Benin, Edo State.
The late cleric was said to have founded the church about 11 months ago.
Head of media of the church, Festus Edema, who narrated the incident to newsmen, said the pastor was on his way to distribute food items to members of the church in need and to drop one of his members at Oko Central road, when he was shot dead by yet-to-be-identified gunmen.
Edema narrated that the assassins pretended to be pushing their car that broke down.
According to him, “The man of God stopped for them to pass so that he can have his way. He never knew that they were the people who came to attack him. So that is how they gave him shots in the chest and the stomach.
“Being the strong man, he still tried to put the car in reverse and as he was reversing the car, he hit the fence and they came to give him a close range shot that silenced him,” said Edema.
Also speaking, a member of the church who identified himself simply as Pastor Esquire, said the news of the death of the cleric has devastated him.
“When I heard about the news of his death, it was devastating and shocking. It is a painful one, very painful, but God will give us the strength to go through it,” Esquire said.
When newsmen visited the premises of the church, situated at No. 3, Ugiagbe Street, off Country Home Motel Road, in Benin-City, members of the church were seen discussing the incident in clusters.
The state’s police commissioner, Mr. Haliru Gwandu, who decried the increase in the cases of assassination in the state, said men of his command were not relenting in their effort to rid the state of criminals.
He promised that those involved in the killings in the state would be fished out and brought to justice.
“My command is ever ready to deal decisively with night marauders,” Gwandu said.
In a related development, gunmen suspected to be hired assassins have shot and killed a middle-aged woman, Mrs. Pat Oyo Omo-Osagie.
She allegedly met her death Sunday night at the hands of her assailants who trailed her to her residence, located along Adesuwa road, GRA, in Benin.
Until her death, the deceased operated a provision/snacks store along Agenmomen road, a stone throw away from the state police headquarters.
When newsmen visited the scene of the incident, evidence of the assassination was visible as blood stain and the shattered window glass of the deceased’s car littered the ground.
Some family members and neighbours who described the incident as shocking and unfortunate, said the deceased was just returning from her shop when the gunmen trailed and shot her at the entrance of her residence.
One of the sympathisers, Mrs. Mata Ojeikere, described the late Mrs. Omo-Osagie as ‘a woman with the heart of gold’.
“From the look of things, it’s like they were at the gate there waiting for her. They didn’t take anything from her car. She has a heart of gold. Her heart is like glass, you can see through her. She’s such a nice person,” Ojeikere said.
Anthony Ohiovbeunu, a family friend of the deceased, said “those who killed her have not done anything. If they think they have done something, we leave them to God.”
The state commissioner of police, Mr. Haliru Gwandu, who confirmed the incident, said two persons have been arrested in connection with the incident.
Gwandu said the police would unravel if the two men they arrested were involved in the killing of Mrs. Omo-Osagie.