Gunmen Kidnap Catholic Priest and Lady in Abia State

On Wednesday, gunmen kidnapped a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Godfrey Chimezie of St. Theresa Parish, Umuahia, and a lady at a petrol station on Aba Road, near Madonna Catholic Hospital, Umuahia, Abia State.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the victims were kidnapped in the early hours of the day. The priest was said to have been kidnapped on the Enyiukwu Road in Ohokobe Afaraukwu, near the church.

According to eyewitnesses, the priest had attended morning Mass at St. Gabriel Catholic Church, Okpururie Afaraukwu. While he was returning from the Mass, the gunmen abducted him.

“The kidnappers forced him out of his Toyota Corolla car and bundled him into their SUV jeep and escaped,” a resident of the area said on the condition of anonymity.

The kidnap of Rev. Fr. Chimezie was confirmed to NAN by a senior priest in Umuahia Catholic Diocese, also on the condition of anonymity. In his words, Chimezie is a young priest who was ordained earlier in the year.

While commenting on the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in Abia, SP Godfrey Ogbonna, said the command hasn’t gotten a formal report from the church, yet. However, he confirmed the kidnap of the lady. He added that she was kidnapped after she bought fuel from the filling station.

He also said it was not certain if the two incidents were the handiwork of the same gunmen. Besides, he said the command had swung into action in ensuring the safe release of the lady. 

Ogbonna had advised the authorities of the church to make a formal complaint on the abduction of the priest at any police station close to the scene of the incident.

“This is to enable the command to commence investigation with a view to rescuing the victim,” he said.

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