Unknown gunmen on Monday, shot dead the Lagos State Coordinator of The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministries, Pastor Chukwuemeka Okpokpo, at Apple Junction, Amuwo Odofin area of the state.
The gunmen, said to have used a motorcycle, reportedly trailed the deceased from a Diamond Bank branch, where he had gone to withdraw N3 million for the church.
They reportedly fired shots into the air, which sent other road users and passers-by scampering for safety.
Reports said Pastor Okpokpo tried to escape when it became obvious that he was the target.
He reportedly slowed down on reaching a bad spot in the road, and the hoodlums shot at the tyres of the Chosen vehicle he was driving, bringing the vehicle to an abrupt halt.
One of the gunmen then alighted from their motorbike, walked to the vehicle and shot Pastor Okpokpo in the stomach.
He was said to have waited to ensure that Okpokpo was no longer breathing before he took the nylon bag containing the money, went back to his two colleagues in the motorbike and they zoomed off.
Fear-stricken residents were said to have rushed to the scene and raised alarm on discovering that the victim was wearing the Lord’s Chosen reflective jacket.
Some of them were said to have alerted members of the church, who rushed him to the church’s clinic at Ijesha.
When news of the tragedy filtered in, those who knew him wept uncontrollably, dispelling the report as rumour, while some said he was still in Ogun State, where he had gone to organise a crusade.
A prayer session aimed at resurrecting him reportedly held between 12.30p.m. and 8p.m.
Some of the church members were, however, of the view that the gunmen could have been hired assassins and not robbers.
Meanwhile, Lagos State Police Command said it had begun investigation into the killing. The command said it was too early to say if it was a case of robbery or assassination.
A police source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “We are leaving all avenues open in our investigation.”
Church members thronged Okpokpo’s Iju home to commiserate with his family.
The family members hinted that Okpokpo’s body had been taken to his home town in Amizi, Ikwuano Local Government Area of Umuahia of Abia State.