Home » BREAKING:Imo catholic priest, driver regain freedom after 7 days in kidnapper’s den

BREAKING:Imo catholic priest, driver regain freedom after 7 days in kidnapper’s den

by admin@okeomanews.ng

The parish priest of St Michael’s Catholic church in Umuekebi community in the Osuoweerre autonomous community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo state, Rev’d Fr Kingsley Eze, also known as father Ichie and his driver, Uchenna Newman have regained their freedom.

Gunmen had on Thursday last week’s night kidnapped the catholic priest and the driver.

They were driving  in a Volvo jeep when they were kidnapped at Orie ama junction around 8pm on Thursday.

Apart from the kidnap of the priest and the man who drove him, the criminals also robbed shop owners at the junction before leaving the scene.

A parishioner who doesn’t want to be mentioned had told our correspondent that the congregants were terrified by the abduction of the priest and the other person.

The source had said ” it is true. Our parish priest, Rev’d Fr Kingsley Eze popularly known as father Ichie has been kidnapped. He was kidnapped alongside Mr uchenna Newman, at Orie ama junction on Thursday. Around 8pm. 

“They drop in a Volvo jeep to buy something at the junction before they were kidnapped. They also robbed businessmen at the junction. This is so unfortunate. We sincerely pray for the safe return of our parish priest and Mr Uchenna.”

An indigene of the area also told our correspondent that the incident was not the first in the environ in a while.

He had said “last night, around 8:30, an artesian and a Rev father were kidnapped at orieama junction. Several other shops were robbed and destroyed by the kidnappers who operated on two motorcycles.

“The name of the priest is Rev’d Fr Kingsley Eze popularly known as father Ichie of St Michael’s Catholic church at Umuekebi community. The person kidnapped alongside him is known as Uche Newman. This is the third kidnapping taking place within a space of tweeks on the Anara Umuelemai road.

“Seriously,we need help.The worst is that, they move around in motorbikes carrying pump action guns. Please, the government should come to our rescue. Criminals are terrorizing us here.

“They came with two motorbikes

And as they were going, they took the car belonging to the priest and the artisan. They also shot and unfortunately one person was hit by the bullet.The gunshot victim was rushed to a hospital very late last night.

“The names of the former people that have been kidnapped and later released after some ransoms were paid last week are, Mr Ezeji from  Mbeke community. Mr Buchi, A popular meat and cow seller at Umuelemia junction.

On Friday many parishioners told our correspondent that the priest and his driver had returned home unharmed.

Though our correspondent had yet to confirm if any ransom was paid before they were released but one of the sources told our correspondent that the priest and his driver allegedly paid N500k ransom for their freedom.

The source said “I can now confirm that the Rev fr and the driver have been released after a ransom of 500k was paid yesterday

Around Umucheke Okwe in the Onuimo LGA.”

Another source who is an indigene of Umuekebi community who also confirmed the release of the kidnap victims said that the priest’s vehicle was tolled home from the Okigwe axis.

He said ” it is true. The priest and Mr Uchenna have been released. They are home. The vehicle they were kidnapped in was tolled home from Okigwe area. We thank God that they are home.

An elated parishioner also told our correspondent on Friday that the church was happy with the safe return of the parish priest and his driver.

He said “our priest is back together with the driver. We are happy that they are healthy. May God’s name be praised.

Okeomannews recalls that the kidnappers had on Sunday and Monday contacted the wife of the driver and placed a N50m ransom for the release of the duo.

They later called and reduced the price tag to N10m. 

The state police command didn’t react over the kidnap of the priest and had yet to issue any statement over their release.

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