Gunmen Release Kidnapped Catholic Priest In Abia

Gunmen Release Kidnapped Catholic Priest In Abia

Gunmen have released a Catholic priest, Rev. Father Mark Chimezie Godfrey, after spending ten days in their den.

Ezenwoko’s Blog reports that the priest was kidnapped on October 13 along Enyiukwu Road, Afaraukwu Ibeku in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State.

He was kidnapped while going home after concluding a morning mass at St Gabriel, Okpururie, Afaraukwu on the said date.

In a statement released by the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia, Rev. Father Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, the Diocese said Godfrey who was in charge of St Theresa’s Parish Umuahia, was released on Saturday.

Ugorji thanked God for the safe return of the priest and appreciated all Christian faithful who assisted in prayers while the priest was in captivity.

Bishop Ugorji, however, refused to disclose if any ransom was paid for the priest’s release.

Meanwhile, Oyo State Command of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) has reacted to the invasion of the Abolongo Correctional Centre in Oyo town around 9:30pm on Friday by gunmen who used dynamite to blast the wall.

Its Public Relations Officer, Olanrewaju Anjorin, in a statement in Ibadan on Saturday, said 837 awaiting trial inmates escaped from the Abolongo Correctional Centre in Oyo Town, when gunmen attacked the facility.

Anjorin said all the 837 awaiting trial inmates were freed by the attackers, pointing out that the cell housing the convicted inmates were not vandalised.

The Public Relations Officer, however, disclosed that a total of 262 escaped inmates had been recaptured, while 575 were still at large.

“The invaders arrived the centre heavily armed with sophisticated weapons and after a fierce encounter with the officers on guard, they gained entrance into the yard, using dynamite to blast the wall.

“All the awaiting trial detainees were forced out of custody, the cells housing the convicts and the female inmates were not vandalised.

“Meanwhile, a total of 262 of the escapees have been recaptured, leaving 575 still at large.

“Following the directives of the Controller-General of Corrections, Haliru Nababa, the State Controller, Noel Ailewon, has commenced the process of search and recapture after visiting the scene of the incident,” he said.

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