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26 Dec 2018

Commotion as Gunmen abduct two Catholic priests in Anambra

Gunmen have abducted two Catholic priests in Anambra State.

The incident, PUNCH Metro gathered, took place on Tuesday at Umuleri in the Anambra East Local Government Area of the state.

Though the names of the priests could not be ascertained as of press time, a source who did not want to be mentioned, said, “They are priests of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Umueze Anam in Anambra West Local Government.”

The source said the priests were abducted at Umuleri while returning from an official function.

“They were actually kidnapped in the Umuleri area on their way to Umueze Anam. The kidnap took place at Nneyi Umuleri in Anambra East Local Government Area,” the source stated.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Haruna Mohammed, said a car belonging to one of the priests had been recovered, while efforts were being made to rescue the victims.

Mohammed stated, “The patrol team attached to the Otoucha Division recovered a light grey Toyota Corolla car with number plate FST 689 FL. The vehicle was abandoned on the Nneyi Umueri Road.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the car belonged to a Reverend Father, who was kidnapped by yet-to-be identified gunmen, who took away the victims and abandoned the vehicle.

“Meanwhile, the case is under investigation and effort is ongoing to rescue the victims and apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to Justice.”

An aide to Governor Willie Obiano, Mr Abuchi Onwumelu, gave an assurance that the priests would be rescued.

“As a result of our aerial surveillance, they’ll be rescued from their captors any moment from now. Let’s pray for their urgent release,” he stated.

The Anambra State Government had recently deployed helicopters and drones for aerial surveillance of criminal hideouts in the state during the Yuletide.

The government also said it was collaborating with the Boston Innovation Centre in Massachusetts, United States, to install Closed-Circuit Television cameras in major cities of the state, including Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi, for crime prevention and control.

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