An Owerri-based lawyer, Uche Ejimonye, has told how gunmen abducted two Catholic church priests after shooting his father-in-law, Valentine Enwerem, dead.
The lawyer, in a statement to his colleagues, which was obtained by our correspondent in Owerri, the state capital of Imo, on Monday, said his father-in-law’s killers had followed him from Amaraku to the Isiala Mbano local government area of the state in Orji where his father-in-law and the two priests were caught up in a traffic jam.
Ejimonye said the gunmen shot his father-in-law several times and abducted the two Catholic priests he was carrying in his vehicle on Friday evening.
He said his stepfather was rescued by an eyewitness but sadly died before they could get to hospital.
The statement read, “I wish to announce the passing and sudden death of my father-in-law, Valentine Enwere, popularly known as ‘Oga Val’ at Orji Mechanic Village.
“He was shot dead by kidnappers in Orji after fleeing them from Amaraku to Owerri and surviving the series of gunshots to his vehicle, but was caught by the heist in Orji, but tried to s escape after getting out of his vehicle, he received five bullets in the back.
“The kidnappers then left with the two reverend fathers who were with him in the car and fled.
“The attempt by passers-by to rescue him and take him to hospital proved abortive as he died on the way to hospital.
“It’s really unfortunate about the situation of our state and what it has become.”
Contacted by our correspondent, the lawyer said the incident was reported to the State Police Command Anti-Kidnapping Unit in Owerri.
He, however, said his father-in-law was the person who could have known the identity of the kidnapped Catholic priests and the diocese they came from.
Contacted by our correspondent, the director of communications for the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, the Reverend Fr. time of filing this report.
He did, however, promise to get back to our correspondent if a report regarding the development is reported to the Archdiocesan headquarters.
State Police Command spokesman Micheal Abattam had yet to respond to an inquiry into the incident at the time of this report.