Ogbonnaya Ikokwu, Umuahia
ONE Goodluck Mark, said to be an evangelist with the Church of Christ, Seventh Day, Osaa-Ukwu, Abia State, is currently cooling his heels in the police custody over his alleged involvement in a child trafficking case.
A source, who pleaded anonymity, told Southern City News that Mark, a dismissed policeman, was assigned by the community to hand over some arrested human traffickers and the N600,000 recovered from them to the police.
Mark was, however, said to have allegedly diverted the money and allowed the suspects to escape rather than hand them over to the police.
The source narrated, “Last month, a certain woman from my community here connived with one man who owns a maternity home here to sell her own baby for N600,000. But unfortunately they were caught by the youths/vigilante of the community.
“The vigilante decided that they should be handed over to the police as law demands. Mark, who we know as a police officer, was called upon to take the suspects to the police station and register the case.
“The money realised from the sale of the baby was dug up from the ground where they buried it and handed over to the officer as evidence.
“But instead of handing the suspects over to the police, Mark released the two men involved to run away and warned them never to return to the community.
“He also beat and threatened the child’s mother whom he also released. Some days later when the news of what happened got to the community, the police operatives were invited and they arrested him and took him to D7 in Umuahia.”
The source said the community was aware that the suspect was once dismissed from the police force, but the story of his alleged reinstatement to the force made the community to allow him handle the case.
“We learnt sometime ago that he was actually sacked from the police force, but we also heard that he was reinstated as a police officer. We were shocked to hear how he collected money and set the criminals free,” he added.
The leader of the Church of Christ, Seventh Day, Osaa-Ukwu, where the embattled evangelist worships, Apostle Jasper Ohuoba, confirmed his arrest.
Ohuoba, however, said the story was still not clear to him as he did not know what actually transpired which led to Mark’s arrest.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Geoffrey Ogbonna, confirmed the incident.
He confirmed that the embattled evangelist was a dismissed police sergeant.
Ogbonna disclosed that the case was transferred to Zone 9, Umuahia for further investigation.