Catholic priest abducted in Akwa Ibom
• Vigilance group members turn to kidnappers in Enugu
The Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom State, Donald Awunah, yesterday confirmed the abduction of Rev. Father Felix Akpan, a Roman Catholic priest of Ikot Ekpene Diocese in Akwa Ibom.
Akpan, who is in charge of St. Michael De Archangel Parish at Ikot Etim, in Ukanafun Local Council, was abducted by unidentified gunmen along Abak-Ukanafun Road.
The priest is said to be teaching at TopFaith International School, Mkpatak in Essien Udim Local Council. It was gathered that the priest was kidnapped when he was returning from the school.
The police boss said a crack team of police detectives had been deployed to ensure the release of the priest unharmed. According to him, the priest’s SUV has been recovered at a mechanic garage. He said some suspects, who took custody of the vehicle had been arrested, adding that the suspects were helping the police in their investigation.
Awunah 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.”
Awunah appealed to members of the public to always volunteer useful information on criminal elements in their neighbourhood to the police for prompt action.
Meanwhile, the police command in Enugu State have arrested two members of a vigilance group in Nimbo, Uzouwani Local Council of Enugu State, for alleged kidnap of Enechi Ejiofor on December 13, 2016. The command’s spokesperson, Ebere Amaraizu, made this known to newsmen in Enugu yesterday.
Amaraizu said the suspects abducted Ejiofor, a Special Assistant on Security Matters to Uzo Uwani Local Council chairman in December on his way to an official assignment at Ugwuiyi Ekoro.
He said that the kidnappers demanded N10 million ransom on December14, 2016 from the family but later reduced it to N2 million, which one of the suspects collected.
However, luck ran against two members of the gang – Asogwa Thank-God and Akakwu Chizoba Collins, as they were arrested by the police investigating the incident.
The police spokesperson said the two suspects were helping the operatives in their investigations. He said the first suspects revealed that they allegedly collaborated with the community vigilance group to kidnap the victim.
Amaraizu said that the first suspect, who claimed to be a Nollywood actor, confessed to playing a big role in monitoring the victim’s movement because he knows him very well.
“The suspects claimed not to know the whereabouts of the victim, saying that some vigilance group members known as Ratty, Miri and Earthquake, whom he did not know their real names, knew better. The second suspect also said that it was the first suspect, his friend that lured him into the group.”
Amaraizu said from the confessions of the suspects, it was clear that Ejiofor was kidnapped because he reveled the ugly attitudes being exhibited by the group, especially as they had severally attacked and stole money belonging to herdsmen.