Police arrest alleged kidnapper of Imo Catholic priest

The police in Imo State have arrested one Kenneth Osuagwu, 31, for allegedly kidnapping a Catholic Priest, Rev Fr Augustine Odoemena.

The victim according to the state Commissioner of Police, Isaac Akinmoyede, was the parish priest of St.Jude Catholic Parish, Umueze 11, Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of the state.

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The CP said that apart from arresting the suspect who hails from Umukita in Ahiazu Mbaise LGA of the state, a highlander, one double barrel gun, two live cartridges, one expended cartridge, and other items were recovered as exhibits from the suspect.

The Police chief disclosed the suspects demanded N2m as ransom for the cleric’s release.

The CP disclosed that the 31-year-old was arrested through a coordinated operation by the operatives of the Anti- Kidnapping Unit of the command.

He said, “On May 12, 2020, a report was received from one Rev Fr Tobias Ihejirika of Saint Catholic Parish Ugiri In Isiala Mbano LGA about the kidnapping of his colleague, Rev Fr Augustine Odoemena, of St Jude Catholic Parish Umueze 11, While Mbano LGA.

“One of the kidnappers who identified himself as Aroo demanded a ransom of N2m as a condition for the victim’s release.

“On receipt of the information, operatives of Anti- Kidnapping Unit swung into action. Through painstaking investigation, they stormed the kidnappers’ hideout in a thick bush behind the INEC office, Oru Ahiara, Ahiazu Mbaise LGA.

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“The hoodlums on sighting the operatives engaged them in a gun duel. The victim was rescued unhurt, the suspect was arrested with bullet wounds as well. He confessed to having been arrested earlier this year with a firearm in a case of armed robbery.

“Effort is ongoing for the arrest of the other gang members at large.”

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