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Police rescue kidnapped Catholic priest in Ebonyi

The Ebonyi Police Command has rescued a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Timothy Nwanja, abducted by gunmen in Okpokueze Nkomoro community, Imoha Development Centre of Ezza North Local Government Area.

The priest, who serves at St. Mary’s Parish in the area, was kidnapped by three gunmen at about 8.30pm on Sunday night at his residence.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Loveth Odah, confirmed on Monday the rescue of the priest and his cook, who was also abducted with him.

According to Odah, the kidnappers had taken Holy Communion wine while in the priest’s house and subsequently dozed off which enabled the priest to escape.

She said that the police, acting on a tip-off, raided the criminals’ hideout and rescued the kidnapped victims.

She said, “The priest was having dinner when the kidnappers sneaked into his room not knowing that his cook had gone upstairs to get water from the refrigerator.

“They abducted her; and on hearing her scream, the priest ran upstairs to know what was going on and they also abducted him.

“They took him away in his own vehicle, blindfolded and blocked his ears so that he won’t be able to listen to their conversation.”

Odah said that the kidnappers later separated the priest and cook, fortunately, the former jumped out through the window of the uncompleted building where he was taken to.

“The kidnappers had taken Holy Communion wine while in the priest’s house and subsequently dozed off which enabled the priest to escape.

“They had planned to demand the N100m ransom from the Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese in the morning before running out of luck.

“We have arrested one of the suspected kidnappers and have launched a serious manhunt for the remaining two,” she said.