An Owerri-based legal practitioner, Uche Ejimonye, has narrated how gunmen kidnapped two Catholic church priests after shooting his father-in-law, Valentine Enwerem, dead.
The lawyer, in a statement to his colleagues, which was obtained by our correspondent in Owerri, the Imo State capital, on Monday, said the killers of his father-in-law trailed him from Amaraku in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of the state to Orji where his father-in-law and the two priests were caught up by a traffic gridlock.
Ejimonye said the gunmen shot his father-in-law several times and abducted the two Catholic priests he was carrying in his vehicle on Friday evening.
He said his father-in-law was rescued by an eyewitness but unfortunately died before they could get to a hospital.
The statement read, “I wish to announce the demise and sudden death of my father-in-law, Valentine Enwere, popularly known as ‘Oga Val’ at Orji Mechanic Village.
“He was shot dead by kidnappers at Orji after fleeing from them from Amaraku to Owerri and surviving the series of gunshots at his vehicle, but was caught up by the hold-up at Orji, but on attempt to escape after coming down from his vehicle, he was shot five times at the back.
“The kidnappers then left with the two Reverend Fathers that were with him in the car and zoomed off.
“Attempt by passers-by to rescue him and take him to the hospital proved abortive as he died on the way to the hospital. It is really regrettable on the situation of this our state and what it has turned into.”
The lawyer when contacted said that the incident had been reported at the Anti-kidnapping Unit of the state Police Command in Owerri.
He however pointed out that his father-in-law was the person who could have known the identities of the kidnapped Catholic priests and the diocese they were from.
The Director of Communications of the Owerri Catholic Archdiocese, Rev’d Fr. Raymond Ogu when contacted however said the archdiocese was yet to receive any report about any missing priest in any of its parishes.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Imo State command, Micheal Abattam could not be reached for police angle of the report.