Tony Osauzo and Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Two conflicting accounts have emerged of how abducted Catholic priest, Rev. Father Isaac Agabi, regained freedom after his kidnap last Sunday by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen.
Father Agabi who is the priest in charge of Holy Name Catholic Church, Ikpeshi, in Akoko-Edo local government of Edo State, was kidnapped along Auchi-Igarra road at about 5.00 pm, while on his way back to the parish.
He was said to have run away from his abductors in the early hours of Tuesday, according to the Director of Communication, Catholic Diocese of Auchi-Igarra, Fr. Peter Egielewa, who confirmed his release.
He also confirmed that no ransom was paid to secure the release of the victim from his abductors.
He disclosed that Rev. Agabi escaped from the kidnappers when they slept off in the night.
“No ransom was paid. He actually escaped in the night when the kidnappers were asleep. He came out of the bush and was able to come home, no ransom was paid,” he said.
But another account said the priest was rescued by operatives of the Edo State police and some hunters at Sasaro area in Akoko-Edo after exchange of gunfire with his abductors.
He was said to have been abandoned by his abductors.
One of his abductors who sustained bullet wound was said to have been arrested.
Edo Police spokesman, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, who confirmed the operation said Fr. Agabi was rescued at about 7:30pm.
Nwabuzor said Agabi was released unhurt due to pressure mounted by the police operatives in collaboration with the hunters and a vigilance group during combing-of-the-bush exercise.
Meanwhile, the leader of the kidnappers who abducted Rev. Agabi has been allegedly nabbed by youths of Ikpeshi, in Akoko-Edo LGA.
The kidnapper whose identity was yet to be known, was however said to be from Taraba State.
A source from Ikpeshi who preferred anonymity, said the abductor was beaten to a coma by the youths and is “facing the agony of slow death.”