George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Operatives of the anti – kidnapping unit of the Imo State Police Command has rescued the parish priest of St. Jude Umueze II, Ehime Mbano, Reverend Father Augustine Odoemena from his abductors.
The state commissioner of Police, Mr. Issac Akinmoyede who disclosed this to journalists while parading some suspects at the state Police Command yesterday said that Osuagwu Kenneth, 31 year-old native of Umukita Nnariambia ,Ahiazu Mbaise council area of Imo state, had on May 12, 2020 allegedly abducted Reverend Father Augustine Odoemena aged 42 of St. Jude Catholic Parish ,Umueze, Ehime Mbano council area of Imo state.
According to the Imo Police boss , “on May 12 , 2020 the command received a distress call from Reverend Father Tobias Ihejirika of St. Michael Catholic Parish, Ugiri in Isiala Mbano that his friend , Rev .Fr Augustine Odoemena of St Jude Catholic , Umueze II Parish ,Ehime Mbano had been kidnapped.
He said that Rev. Fr Tobias Ihejirika had also informed the police that one of the kidnappers who had identified himself as “Aroo” has demanded N2M as ransom as a condition for releasing their victim.
It was also learnt that the suspect had on kidnapping the Rev. Fr stripped him naked in the bush and filmed him with a phone.
“The CP said,”On receipt of the information, operatives of the Anti- Kidnapping unit swung into action and through painstaking investigation stormed the their hideout in a thick bush at the back of the INEC office ,Oru Ahiara , Ahiazu Mbaise council area.”
He added, “ On sighting the operatives the hoodlums engaged them in a gun battle. But the victim was unhurt while one of the suspects was arrested with bullet wound, which he sustained during the gun duel. Others escaped with bullet wounds. It was discovered that the suspect was previously arrested early last year for illegal possession of fire arm.”
He said that operatives of the command had spread its dragnet to arrest other fleeing members of the gang .
Akinmoyede also disclosed that the operatives recovered a double barrel gun, two live cartridges, machete. Also recovered are the victim’s personal effects as well as his Highlander Jeep.