Following its preliminary investigation, Imo State Police command has linked the kidnap of a Catholic priest, Rev. Prof. Izu Marcel Onyeocha, to suspected herdsmen.
In a statement by the Command’s spokesman, Orlando Ikeokwu, on behalf of Commissioner of Police, Nasiru Muhammed, explained that the cleric was kidnapped when his car developed fault at Ihube in Okigwe LGA.
The victim, who is a lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities at the Imo State University, is a native of Avuru Community in Ikeduru council area of the state.
The statement reads: “On the 11/04/21, one Bissong Isa Atugu “m”, reported that on the 10/03/21, at about 7:45pm ,while driving from Enugu to Owerri with a Nissan Exterra SUV, in 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 stepped down to check the vehicle, a group of people believed to be herdsmen emerged from the bush and inflicted matchet cut injuries on him while the priest was kidnapped and taken to unknown destination.
“Sequel to the above, the Commissioner of police Imo State , CP Nasiru Mohammed, has activated all the tactical teams of the Command, with a view 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.”
Since late last year, a number of kidnap incidents, including that of Rev. Fr. Valentine Oluchukwu Ezeagu, a priest at Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy (SMMM), Umuahia, Abia State, had taken place
around that same axis.