The Imo state police command on Sunday confirmed that suspected Fulani herdsmen were behind the kidnap of a Catholic priest, Reverend Father Marcel Izu Onyeocha, around Ihube in the Okigwe local government area of Imo state.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Orlando Ikeokwo, disclosed this to newsmen in Owerri.
According to the police, the Catholic priest was kidnapped when his car developed a fault at Ihube in Okigwe LGA.
The police narrated: “On the 11/04/21, one Bissong Isa Atugu “m”, reported that on the 10/03/21, at about 7:45 pm, while driving from Enugu to Owerri with a Nissan Exterra SUV, in the company of one REV. FR. Marcel Izu Onyeocha of Mother Theresa of Golgotha Catholic Church, World Bank Owerri, the vehicle developed fault around Ihube in Okigwe LGA, and as they step down to check the vehicle, a group of people believed to be Fulani herdsmen emerged from the bush and inflicted matchet cut injuries on him, while the priest was kidnapped and taken to an unknown destination.
“Sequel to the above, the Commissioner of Police Imo State, CP Nasiru Mohammed, has activated all the tactical teams of the Command, to rescue the priest, and possibly arrest the culprits. He however calls for calm as the Command will do everything possible to ensure the rescue of the priest.”
It should be recalled that Vanguard had reported that, “A few months after, auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Owerri Archdiocese, Bishop Moses Chikwe, was kidnapped and released by his captors, another catholic priest and a lecturer with Imo state University, IMSU, Reverend Father, Izu Marcell Onyeocha, has been kidnapped by suspected hoodlums.
Information gathered in Owerri is that the incident happened around 08:15 pm, at the Ihube community in Okigwe local government area of Imo state.
A close source who confirmed it to newsmen said that Reverend Onyeocha is a Claretian priest. He claimed that the Catholic priest was on his way from Owerri to Enugu state when the suspected hoodlums struck at night.
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