Operatives of the Delta State Police Command have recovered six rifles from an uncompleted building on church premises in Asaba.
The resident pastor of the church, Fidelix Nwansa, was also arrested.
Nwansa, who is in charge of the Christ Holy Church, was nabbed for alleged gunrunning on the pretext of providing security for churches and hotels in the area alongside vigilante groups.
Confirming the incident, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Hafiz Inuwa, told journalists on Thursday that the pastor’s arrest was made by his men two days earlier during a mop-up operation.
The CP stated, “Some people from across the Niger have started or are bringing in vigilantes and criminals to Delta State in the name of providing security for churches and hotels, forgetting the fact that it is illegal to do that, because a vigilante from another state cannot come and operate in this state.
“Secondly, they are carrying sophisticated firearms. There is every indication that once they bring these people, they are also engaged in criminality. So, we have recovered six pump action rifles.”
Inuwa added that his operatives also arrested the head of a vigilante group, simply identified as Freeman.
According to the police boss, the vigilante head, who is from Anambra State, the same as the cleric, was brought to Delta State for a security job.
The CP said investigation led to the arrest of the resident pastor, who confessed that the recovered firearms belonged to the Anambra vigilante group.