Kidnapped Catholic Priest Found Killed In Imo State


Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo, was abducted on September 1, 2017

Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo
Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo

A Catholic priest in Nigeria, who was kidnapped on the morning of Friday September 1, has been found murdered.

Fr Cyriacus Onunkwo was taken from his vehicle in the town of Orlu, in the state of Imo in the southeast of the country.

The priest’s body was discovered on Saturday in the neighboring village of Omuma.

The state commissioner of police, Chris Ezike, told the local newspaper Vanguard: ‘Although we are working on all leads over the matter, [for] now, it is a clear case of abduction and murder. If it was a case of kidnapping, his captives would have put a call across to anybody close to their victim and made a demand.’

The police said that no arrests have so far been made. They found the priest’s car, and said nothing had been taken.

Imo state has one of the highest crime rates in the country, according to the Catholic news website Crux.

Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo
Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo

Onunkwo is the second Catholic priest to be murdered in Nigeria this summer. In July, Fr Raphael Pankyes was killed by three men in Plateau State in the centre of the country.

A member of the priest’s family told local media that he was returning home to organise the funeral of his father when he was kidnapped at gunpoint.

He said: ‘The priest, Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo, who hailed from Osina, in the Ideato North LGA, and worked in Orlu … was on a mission. He came home to prepare for the burial of his father, who died last week.’


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