Anambra vigilante service rescues abducted Catholic priest

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A Catholic priest, Rev. Father Cyril Okafor and another victim who were abducted have been rescued from their kidnappers by the Anambra Vigilante Service.

The priest was kidnapped on Tuesday afternoon in Igbo-Ukwu, Aguata local government area.

He was later rescued by the vigilante operatives of Umueri community, Anambra-East local government area in the early hours of Wednesday.

Mr. Jonny Chukwudi Mecthie, the president-general of Umueri Town Union, who made report of the rescue of the priest public said that the clergy was abducted around the Holy Ghost Adoration Centre, Igboukwu at about 3pm on Tuesday before his Umueri community vigilante operatives rescued him.

He said “Yesterday at about 4:30 in the morning, the agile men of the Umueri vigilante group led by the CSO, Friday (Omo Fri), intercepted some kidnappers in Umueri and rescued a Reverend Father identified as Rev. Father Cyril Okafor.

“The Rev. Father was kidnapped yesterday, November 15th 2022, around Holy ghost adoration center Igboukwu.

“According to the Rev. Father who is now with the Police at Otuocha Police station, he was taken to Enugu and then to Nteje where they hoped to keep him in a hotel room but the hotel was fully booked.

“Then, they brought him to Otuocha, Umueri, and kept him gaged in an abandoned building, waiting for his family to pay ransom before the Umueri vigilante CSO and his team intercepted one of the kidnappers who claimed he’s a visitor on his way to pray in the river that early morning.

“He was forced to lead the vigilante to where he is staying in Umueri and that’s how he led them to the building where they kept the Rev. Father. Unfortunately, while the vigilante searched the building, questioning him, he ran away with the other 3 members of his gang.

“That’s when it dawned on the vigilante that they are criminals and as they intensified search on the building, the Rev. Father was found where he’s tied up. The vigilante also recovered a Highlander SUV used by the kidnappers.

“I am thankful to God for using men of Umueri vigilante to save the life of His servant. I am so proud of the job being done by the Umueri vigilante group,” he said.

Spokesman of the Anambra Police Command, Deputy Superintendent of police, DSP, Ikenga Tochukwu confirmed the rescue of the Catholic clergy.

He, however said he was yet to get details about the incident.

He said: “I am aware that there was a development like that (rescue of the abducted Catholic priest), but I am yet to get details about the incident”