Lagos, Nigeria. Sept 8th: Gunmen this morning (Friday) reportedly opened fire on the parish priest of St Thomas Catholic Church identified as Daniel Nwankwo, at Onilekere, Ikeja, Lagos according to a parishoner.
The parishoner, who simply identified himself as Valentine, said the assailant struck around 9am.
He explained that the victim had just finished attending to a church member.
“They were three in number. The men came into the church as if they were parishioners. When they arrived here, father was taking confession. As he was walking away, they approached him and told him they wanted N5,000 to pay the hospital bill of someone. Before you knew what was happening, they had shot him on the stomach.”
Photo: St Thomas Catholic Church Onilekere, Ikeja, Lagos
Another witness, anonymously, said the attackers scaled the fence after hitting their target.
Meanwhile, the suspected killers of Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo of the Orlu Catholic Diocese, Imo State, were on Thursday paraded by the state Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike. The prime suspect has been identified as a 32-year-old dismissed ex-Corporal Jude Madu, alleged of leading the abduction of the cleric.
The late reverend father came home from the Vatican in Rome for the burial rites of his father, Celestine Onunkwo, when he was abducted and killed.
Alleged Killers Of Nigerian Catholic Priest Home From Rome To Bury His Dad Paraded
The Imo State Police Command has paraded several men alleged to have been involved in the abduction and killing of one Reverend Father Cyriacus Onunkwo, in a Catholic parish in Orlu zone of Nigeria’s Imo State. The suspects are alleged to have been involved in other armed robbery and abducting activities as well according to police.
Reverend Father Cyriacus Onunkwo was abducted and killed when he returned from the Vatican in Rome to plan for the burial of his late father.
Photo: Alleged Killers Of Nigerian Catholic Priest Home From Rome To Bury His Dad Paraded
The Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Ezike, while briefing the news men said that Imo state under his watch must enjoy peace in all areas of life. He also pledge to support his men where necessary to ensure efficiency in delivery of their constitutional duties.
The suspected abductors of the popular Christian musician Evangelist Chinedu Nwadike were also paraded at the state police command headquarters.
Nigerian Catholic Priest Home From Rome To Bury His Dad. Abducted. Killed
The Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Ezike has confirmed the reported abduct and murder of a Roman Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo who reportedly returned from Rome to bury his late father. Mr. Chris Ezike also said the priest’s corpse has been recovered.
“The matter was properly reported to the police and we went into action. Less than 24 hours after, the Orlu Divisional Police Officer, DPO, reported the discovery of an abandoned corpse in its area of jurisdiction”, Ezike said.
According to the Imo police boss, priests of Orlu Catholic Diocese were called in immediately and they identified the corpse as their priest.
“Although we are working on all leads over the matter. For now, it is a clear case of abduction and murder. If it was a case of abducting, his captives would have put a call across to anybody close their victim and made a demand”,Ezike said.
Answering a question, the CP said that “although nobody has been arrested in connection with the crime, we are investigating it”.
Photo: Late Reverend Father Cyriacus Onunkwo while in Rome
Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo, a Catholic priest was abducted on Friday morning from his vehicle in the town of Orlu, in the state of Imo, located in the southeast of the country. His body was discovered the next day in the neighboring village of Omuma. The police also found the priest’s car, and said nothing had been taken, and so far, no arrests have been made.
Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo is the second Catholic priest to be murdered in Nigeria this summer. In July, Father Raphael Pankyes was killed by three men in Plateau State, located in the center of the country.