Gunmen abduct Catholic priest in Akwa Ibom

219
Kidnappers

Unknown gunmen have kidnapped a Roman Catholic priest of Ikot Ekpene Diocese, in Akwa Ibom State, Rev. Father Felix Akpan.

It was learnt that Akpan, who is in-charge of St. Michael De Archangel Parish at Ikot Etim in Ukanafun Local Government Area was abducted by yet-to-be identified gunmen along Abak-Ukanafun Road.

The priest is also said to be teaching at Top Faith International School, Mkpatak in Essien Udim LGA. He was said to have been kidnapped by the hoodlums when he was returning from the school.

A local resident, who witnessed the incident, said, “The criminals blocked him on his way back from his school at Mkpatak, Essien Udim Local Government Area along Abak-Ukanafun Road while returning to his Parish in Ikot Etim, Ukanafun LGA.

“They forced him out of his SUV at gunpoint and bundled him into their car and sped off.”

Speaking, Akpan’s fellow priest, who did not want his name in print, stated that the kidnappers were yet to establish contact with the church on ransom. He noted that the church has resorted to prayers for the priest’s safe release.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Donald Awunah, who confirmed the incident, said a crack team of police detectives has been deployed to ensure that the priest is released unharmed.

According to him, the priest’s SUV had been recovered at a mechanic garage, adding that some suspects who took custody of the vehicle have been arrested. He said the suspects are currently aiding the police in the investigation.

He said, “We are closing in on them. We have recovered his car in a mechanic garage and arrested those who had the custody of the vehicle; they are now helping us in our investigation.

“The Nigeria Police Force will remain cautious with the investigation to ensure that the priest regains his freedom without any harm.”

He appealed to members of general public to always cooperate with the police by volunteering useful information on criminal elements in their neighbourhoods.

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