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Gunmen Abduct Catholic Priest in Anambra, As Police Arrest Gunrunner 

Gunmen have kidnapped a Catholic priest in Anambra State, just one month after another was rescued by security operatives.

Gunmen have kidnapped a Catholic Priest in Anambra State, just one month after another priest, Rev Basil Gbuzuo was kidnapped and rescued by security operatives.

This is coming as Police in Anambra State have intercepted a gunrunner, Felix Owaya from Delta State who specializes in supplying arms and ammunition to men of the underworld.

Rev. Fr. Christian Ike, the parish priest of St Matthew Catholic Church in Ajalli, Orumba North Local Government Area, and a parishioner of the church, Mr. Ogbonnia Aneke were taken in Ajali.

The abduction was said to have happened at about 10am on Sunday, when he was returning from morning mass.

Anambra State Police Command confirmed the kidnap in a press release. The command said it received the information and deployed its Intelligence and operational assets of the command for possible rescue.

The command’s spokesperson, SP Tochukwu Ikenga said: “Eyewitness account revealed  that by 10:30 am on 16/6/2024, the priest and two others were returning from St Micheal Catholic Church Ndiokpaleke where they attended Morning Service, along Amagu Junction.

“They were double-crossed by armed men operating in three vehicles, while the other two escaped the scene, the criminals took away the priest and some personal belongings of the occupants in the vehicle. 

Meanwhile, the letter from the church addressed to parishes in Ekwulobia Diocese confirmed the incident. The statement from Diocesan Chancellor of the Catholic Church, Rev. Fr. Lawrence Nwankwo called for prayers 

it said: “Please pray for the release of Rev. Fr. Christian Ike and Mr. Ogbonnia Aneke, who were kidnapped this morning around 9.45 a.m as they were returning from Mass in an outstation of St. Matthew’s Parish, Ajalli, Orumba North L.G.A.”

Meanwhile, a press release by the state police command, disclosed that a a gunrunner was on Sunday arrested in Onitsha.

The release read, “On 15/6/2024 by 1:30 pm, police operatives attached to Fegge division while on patrol along Niger Street, Onitsha arrested one Felix Owaya ‘M’ aged 48yrs of Ika South LGA of Delta State.

“The operatives recovered 375 live cartridges from him. During interrogation, the suspect confessed that he was sent by one Mr Charles Ogboma to a man he is yet to mention to collect the ammunition. Meanwhile, investigation is still ongoing.”

Ikenga quoted the the Commissioner of Police in Anambra State, CP Nnaghe Obono Itam as directing all personnel in the command to sustain the tempo of crime prevention and detection in service of the people of the state.

David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

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