The parish priest of St. Charles Catholic Church, Zambina, in Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Silas, was kidnapped by terrorists yesterday.
The Chancellor, Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Uchechukwu Okolo, confirmed the development in a statement made available to journalists in Kaduna. This was coming a few days after the burial of Rev. Fr. Vitus Borogo, who was killed by terrorists on his farm in Kujama, along Kaduna-Kachia Road on Saturday, June 25, 2022, and was laid to rest on June 30, 2022 in Kaduna.
The statement said: “It is with great pain that we announce to you the kidnapping of our priest, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Silas. The event occurred in the early hours of July 04, 2022, when he could not turn up for morning Mass.
“He was abducted from the parish rectory at St. Charles Catholic Church, Zambina, in Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
å“We solicit an intense prayer for his quick and safe release; we equally wish to call on all and sundry to refrain from taking the laws into their hands. We will use every legitimate means to ensure his quick and safe release.
“May Jesus, crucified on the Cross, listen to our prayers and hasten the unconditional release of His Priest and all other kidnapped persons.”
Meanwhile, the Edo State Police Command, yesterday, announced the rescue of Rev. Fr Luigi Brena, 68, an Italian of Somascan Father’s Community, who was kidnapped by hoodlums.
The Command’s deputy Public Relations Officer, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu, in a statement, said: “In our continuous efforts to curb crime and criminality in the state, most especially kidnapping, the Edo state police Commissioner, Abutu Yaro, has massively deployed police operatives to most of the identified volatile areas in the state, and the move has started yielding positive results.
“Consequent upon this, operatives of the Edo state police command attached to Iguobazuwa Division on the 03/07/2022, at about 1745hrs received information that Rev. Fr Luigi Brena ‘M’, 64 years, an Italian of Somascan Father’s community, was kidnapped by hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers, along Ogunwuyi through Usen community in Ovia South West local government area of Edo state.
“On receipt of the information, the police operatives immediately swung into action and trailed the suspected kidnappers to their camp.
“The suspects, on sighting the operatives, opened fire on them but the superior fire power of the police operatives neutralised three of the kidnappers, while the rest escaped into the forest with various degrees of gunshot injuries, abandoning their victim.
“The victim was immediately rushed to Igbinedion Teaching Hospital, Okada, for medical attention. Intensive bush combing is ongoing with the aim of arresting the suspected kidnappers now on the run,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, the police Command, in a separate incident, announced, yesterday, that it had arrested a 65-year-old Okoh Peter and four others, for allegedly engaging in cultism in Benin.
Also, a motorcyclist, who shot at policemen while trying to escape, was arrested in Auchi.
The Command, in a statement by its deputy PPRO, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu, said the arrest was in continuation of the police quest to rid the state of criminal elements.
“With determination to check the menace and excesses of cultism and unnecessary killings in Edo State, men of the anti cultism unit of Edo State Police Command have been working round the clock with area commands and divisions to ensure that the ugly trend is stopped.
“The move by the police has yielded tremendous success during operations. On 02/07/2022, at about 17:15hrs, operatives of state Command, Ekiadolor sector, while on routine patrol within Ekowe community and environs, intercepted some suspected cultists at the community’s youth house.
“The suspects, on sighting the police, took to their heels which attracted the attention of the operatives. The operatives chased and arrested five of them, Andrew Owhoyavwosa ‘M’ 22 years, Joseph Meshak ‘M’ 25 years, Osazee Solomon ‘M’ 35 years, Godswill Obasohan ‘M’ 25 years, Charles Odiase ‘M’ 52 years and Okoh Peter ‘M’ 68 years.
“On the spot search conducted at the scene led to the recovery of two locally made single barrel guns, one locally cut to size single barrel gun, 30 live cartridges, a first aid box, other items as well as N37, 000,” she added.
“Also, the motorcyclist was arrested by the operatives of the Command, in collaboration with vigilantes on 03/07/2022, at about 02:30hrs, while on routine patrol along Igbe Road in Auchi Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.
“He was said to be acting suspicious when he was accosted and, in an attempt to evade arrest and escape, shot at the police, but was subdued and arrested.
“On the spot search conducted on him led to the recovery of one locally made cut to size single barrel gun, one live cartridge and one expended cartridge, while the motorcycle with Reg. no. BEN-316-QP was also confiscated.
“During preliminary investigation, the suspect confessed to being a member of the dreaded Vikings Confraternity. He will be charged to court at the end of investigation,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police has assured residents of the state that the Command would not relent in its efforts to rid the state of criminal elements and their cohorts. He urged the public to continue to collaborate with the police by providing prompt and credible information that would lead to the arrest of criminals.
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