Nigeria: Police Arrest Suspected Killers of Catholic Priests

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The police in Enugu have arrested suspected killers of two Catholic priests in the state.

This is just as another priest of the Enugu Catholic Diocese on Thursday escaped assassination.

Paul Offu and and Clement Ugwu, both reverend fathers, were killed on August 1 and March 14, respectively by suspected gunmen.

While Mr Offu was killed by suspected herders along Ihe-Agbudu Road in Awgu Local Government Area of the state, Mr Ugwu, a parish priest of St. Mark Catholic Church, Obinofia Ndiuno in Ezeagu Local Government Area of the state was kidnapped and later killed on March 14.

The police also paraded the suspected kidnappers of the traditional ruler of Obom-Agbogugu, Awgu Local Government Area of state, Sunday Orji and his wife, who were kidnapped on Sunday August 3, along Enugu - Port-Harcourt Expressway.

The police commissioner, Suleiman Balarabe, paraded the suspected killers and kidnappers alongside other 30 criminal suspects.

He said that the command has devised measures to protect Catholic priests from such incidents in the future.

The CP said Ibrahim Adamu from Taraba State and Idris Tobe were arrested in connection with the killing of Mr Offu while three other suspects are still at large.

The commissioner also said Idris Umaru was arrested for the kidnap and murder of the secretary of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area, who was killed in March.

On the kidnap of Mr Orji and his wife, the commissioner said three suspects, Garba Basulugu, Mohammed Lagu and Mojunpan Duna were arrested.

Meanwhile, one of the suspects, Ibrahim Adamu, said he came to Enugu "to learn the skill of cow rearing but later joined a gang."

He said the other suspect, Idris, supplies the gang with foodstuff.

Fresh attack

Meanwhile, another priest, Chimezie Ani, was attacked on Thursday along Ugwuomu road after Caritas University.

The gunmen were said to be chasing another vehicle when Mr Ani's car ran into them.

His vehicle was riddled with bullets from the suspects and the windscreen shattered.

Mr Ani who spoke with reporters thanked God for his mercy and protection.

"The attack happened after Caritas University towards Ugwuomu. I ran into them firing at the SUV in my opposite direction but miraculous I drove on my reverse for a very long distance before turning," he said

The director of communications, Enugu Catholic Diocese, Benjamin Achi, confirmed the incident.

He said, "yes the incident happened along Ugwuomu road as you heard. We are very grateful to God that he (priest) was not harmed, he was able to navigate on reverse to a safe distance."

The police commissioner promised that those who attacked Mr Ani would soon be arrested.

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