Hoodlums kidnap Ebonyi Catholic priest,3 others

Hoodlums kidnap Ebonyi Catholic priest,3 others

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Hoodlums kidnap Ebonyi Catholic priest,3 others


Hoodlums kidnap Ebonyi Catholic priest,3 others. Hoodlums (Gunmen) kidnapped a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Joseph Azubuike, and three other people in Ebonyi State on Monday.

Azubuike is the parish priest of St. Charles Parish, Mgbaleze village, Isu community, in the state’s Onicha Local Government Area.

The Chancellor of the Abakaliki Diocese, Rev Father Mathew Opoke, while confirming the incident in a statement on Tuesday, said Azubuike was kidnapped close to his parish while returning from evangelical duties.

Opoke revealed the kidnappers had established contact with the Diocese and demanded an undisclosed amount of ransom.

The statement read in part, “Kindly pray for the unconditional release of Very Rev. Fr. Joseph Azubuike, who was abducted on Monday, July 10, 2023, close to his parish on his way back from pastoral duties.

“He was kidnapped together with three other persons. The kidnappers are demanding money, but with your prayers, we will get them returned unconditionally.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, said the command had received a report of the kidnap and that investigation was ongoing.

Also a 67-year-old cleric, the Chief Imam of Uso Community in the state’s Owo Local Government Area, was abducted while working on his farm last month.

He was reportedly released the next day after paying a N2 million ransom.

The suspects were apprehended at the command headquaters in Akure, the state capital, on Tuesday, according to the state Police Public Relations Officer, Funmilayo Odunlami, who said the suspects were apprehended due to the rapid action of the command’s operatives.

Muinah Mohammed, Aisha Bello, and Isah Bello are among the suspects, according to her.

“On June 18, 2023, around 6 p.m., one Mrs Bodunde went to the Uso Division to complain that her husband, Alli Bodunde, went to the farm and he was supposed to return around 2 p.m., but unfortunately, when they did not see him, they sent two persons to the farm to look for him,” she said.

“When they arrived at the farm, they saw his car and phone but couldn’t see him.”

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