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Gunmen Kill Driver, Abduct Two Catholic Priests


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A driver, Valentine Enwerem, was on Friday evening killed when gunmen, suspected to be kidnappers, attacked his vehicle.

The incident happened at Nkwo Orji market junction along Owerri-Okigwe Road in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State, South-east Nigeria.

The slain driver was carrying two Catholic priests before the gunmen attacked them when they got into a gridlock.

The two Catholic priests were abducted by the gunmen, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

A legal practitioner, Uche Ejimonye, who is an in-law to Mr Enwerem, the slain driver, has narrated how the incident happened.

In a statement, obtained by Punch newspaper, Mr Ejimonye said the gunmen trailed them from Amaraku in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of the state.

“He was caught up in the gridlock at Orji but on attempting to escape after coming down from his vehicle, he was shot five times at his back,” he said.

“The kidnappers then abducted the two Reverend fathers that were with him in the car and zoomed off. Attempts by passersby to rescue him by taking him to the hospital proved abortive as he died on the way,” Mr Ejimonye narrated.

The lawyer said the incident has been reported to the police.

The police spokesperson in the state, Michael Abattam, did not respond to calls and a text message seeking comments from him on the incident.



In a related development, gunmen have abducted a traditional ruler in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, South-south Nigeria.

The abducted monarch, Matthew Opoto, is the chairman of the Abissa Council of Chiefs in the council area.

He was heading to his residence alongside some of his council of chiefs.

The gunmen, said to be driving in speed boats, intercepted the boat they were in and abducted the royal father after identifying him.

An indigene of the area, Minaibiye Dolphin, who confirmed the incident to reporters in Port Harcourt, said the monarch was close to his residence when the gunmen attacked them.

“Gunmen came in speed boats, identified him and took him away. We have no information about him,” Mr Dolphin was quoted as saying.

The police spokesperson in Rivers State, Grace Iringe-Koko, has confirmed the abduction.

She said the police were investigating the incident and had launched an operation to track down the suspects.


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