Gunmen kidnap Catholic priest, six others in Enugu

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Gunmen have reportedly kidnapped a Catholic Priest, Rev. Father M. Okide of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu, and six other travellers on Sunday evening in Enugu.

The incident occurred along Eke-Affa-Egede Road in Udi Local Government Area of the State between 4.30pm and 5pm.

It was learnt that the kidnappers have already made telephone contacts with relatives of the victims, demanding N100 million as ransom before the Catholic Priest and other captives could be released.

Reports said the kidnappers had left the children of the victims inside their car crying helplessly before police operatives arrived the scene to evacuate them.

The police command is yet to react to the incident but operatives of Udi Police Division are already combing the area with a view to securing the release of the Catholic Priest and other victims.

Meanwhile the Police detectives in the Enugu state have killed three suspected members of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB/ Eastern Security Network, ESN, for allegedly attempting to enforce the illegal Sit at home order in the state.

The command spokesman, Daniel Ndukwe in a statement, said the suspects were “neutralized” at Ezioha Mgbowo community in Awgu Local Government Area of the state during a gun battle today, Monday.

*The statement reads:*

“At about 2.15 am today, September 18, 2023, a joint security team, comprising Police Operatives of the Enugu State Command, NPF Special Forces, and Troops of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army Enugu, acting on credible intelligence, burst the criminal hideout of IPOB/ESN subversive criminal elements in Ezioha Mgbowo in Awgu Local Government Area, while they were perfecting plans to enforce the illegal sit-at-home order in the State.

“Three (3) of the hoodlums, who opened fire on the joint team upon sighting them, were neutralized, while several others escaped with severe degrees of gunshot wounds in the ensuing gunfight.

“Three (3) pump-action guns, ten (10) machetes, and other incriminating exhibits were recovered; while an intense manhunt for those on the run is ongoing.

“Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, CP Kanayo Uzuegbu, psc while commending the joint team, has reassured the security and safety of citizens as they go about their lawful businesses in the State.

“He reiterated the avowed commitment of the police and other security forces to sustain the onslaught against unrepentant violent criminals operating under any guise.

“CP Kanayo, therefore, enjoins all and sundry to report individuals sighted with gunshot wounds to the nearest Police Station, while remaining law-abiding and continue to provide the Police with actionable security information and intelligence.”

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