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9 Sep 2017

See the Face of Catholic Priest Shot in Lagos Battling for His Life (Photo)

The Catholic priest who was brutally shot by alleged armed robbers in Lagos state is now battling for his life.
Rev. Fr. Daniel Nwankwo was shot by alleged armed robbers

The identity of the Catholic priest that was shot yesterday by armed robbers at the St Thomas Catholic Church, Onilekere, Ikeja, Lagos has been revealed.

The man of God identified as Rev Fr. Daniel Nwankwo who is the parish priest, was shot on Friday morning and is now battling for his life at the state university teaching hospital, LASUTH.

According to Saturday Sun, an eyewitness who identified himself as Valentine Umenweani told Saturday Sun that three gunmen gained access into the church shortly after parishioners left after the Friday morning service.

“After the confession session, most of the parishioners left the church premises and there were few persons especially women and children who stayed behind to pray. I believe that they had gone into the church and partook in the morning mass before approaching us.

“I was standing at a corner of the church with the priest when the three of them approached us. They asked to see the parish priest and the priest told them that he was the one.

“They told him that they were sent by a parishioner who is sick to collect N5000 from him. The priest told them that he does not know who they were referring to and cannot grant such request.

“Suddenly the young men who were carrying a bag brought out their guns and started asking the priest to bring out the money or they will kill him.

“He told them that there is no money with him and they started threatening to shoot. The priest handed over his mobile phone to me but they immediately collected it from me and put it in their bag. The priest suggested that they should go to the parish house that he has some money over there but they refused and started beating him.

“While they were dragging him, one of them shot him in the face. Although he was hit, the priest miraculously escaped in the confusion while I ran to another direction. They searched for him and when they could not find him, they also started looking for me. Since they do not know much about the church, they took to their heels and scaled the fence of the church and escaped.”

On how the priest landed in the hospital, Valentine said he managed to run to the nearest medical centre before he was able to contact members of the church. “Miraculously, despite the bullet wound, the priest dragged himself to the nearest hospital. Unfortunately, the security man who normally stays at the church gate was not in the premises when it happened.”

Confirming the incident, the Lagos State Police Command spokesman, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole in a statement said around 6.30am during mass at St Thomas Catholic Church Onilekere Cement B/Stop, Ikeja, some unknown hoodlums posing as worshippers who also took part in the morning mass after the prayers at 8.30am, requested to have a dialogue with Rev Father Daniel Nwankwo who heads the parish.

“The Rev Father who unsuspectingly granted the hoodlums an audience outside the church auditorium for a yet to be determined reason was shot by one of the hoodlums with a locally made pistol."

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