Friday, 12 June 2015

Gunmen Kidnap Catholic Priest in Ekiti (South West Nigeria), Demand N20 Million Ransom

A Catholic Priest in Ekiti diocese, Rev. Father Emmanuel Akingbade has been kidnapped by gunmen in Ido-Ekiti, Ekiti state. It was gathered that the three-man abductors stormed the residence of the cleric, who is the Parish Priest of St. Benedict’s Catholic Church, Ido Ekiti, with gun on Tuesday, between 7.30 and 8pm.

The cleric, who is a lawyer also doubles as the Assistant Director, Justice, Development and Peace Initiative (JDPI) of the church in the diocese.

This was coming barely two weeks after eleven people kidnapped including Medical personnel were released. Meanwhile, youths in Ido-Ekiti demonstrated against the kidnap of the reverend father by blocking all roads and paralysed commercial activities in the town.

The angry youths said the town was being given bad image by incessant incidents of kidnap and called on the state governor, Ayodele Fayose to arrest the kidnappers using the town as a base.

The Bishop of the diocese, Most Rev. Felix Ajakaye, who confirmed the incident, said the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Etop  John James had been informed about the incident.

The bishop said one of the three men pointed a gun at the head of one of the occupants at the priest’s residence and ordered him to lead them to Father Akingbade’s room where he was abducted and taken to an unknown destination.

The bishop, who described the incidence as “very sad and devastating “said the abductors also went away with the priest’s computer laptop, undisclosed amount of money and handset. Ajakaiye said, “They told the priest that some people had paid them to kill the Priest and demanded N20m as ransom.

They asked him to put on any clothe he likes and drove him away, since then we have not been able to establish contact with him” Father Akingbade was born on September 9, 1971 and ordained a Catholic priest on July 18, 1998. The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Alberto Adeyemi confirmed the incident, adding that the command is working hard to getting the priest released.

He added, “ We are aware of it and we are following it up. The DPO in Ido informed the command about the incident and we are trying our best to get him released.”

Guardian Newspaper, Nigeria

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