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Gunmen kidnap Catholic Bishop in Imo


The Catholic bishop was kidnapped in Owerri, the Imo capital.


Gunmen have kidnapped the Auxiliary Bishop of Owerri Catholic Archdiocese in Imo State, Moses Chikwe.


PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the bishop was kidnapped at the World Bank area of Owerri, the state capital.


He was reportedly kidnapped on Sunday night alongside his driver whose name was not stated.


The bishop’s car and official regalia were later found near the Assumpta Cathedral in Owerri.


A statement released by the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria said the Archbishop of the Diocese, Victor Obinna, confirmed the kidnap.


The statement signed by Secretary-General of the Secretariat, Zacharia Sanjumi, called for prayers for the safe return of the cleric.


As of the time of this report, there had been no official reports of any correspondence with the kidnappers.


The kidnap comes barely a week after the kidnap in the state of another Catholic cleric, Valentine Ezeagu.


The priest was kidnapped on December 15 by gunmen, as he was on his way to bury his late father.


The priest who belongs to the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy (SMMM), congregation, Umuahia, was later released by his kidnappers.


The police spokesperson in Imo, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the latest incident.

He said no official complaint had been reported at any of the police formations in the state.


He, however, noted that the state commissioner of police, Isaac Akinmoyede, had activated the tactical units of the command to rescue the kidnapped bishop.


He said the commissioner has ordered the anti-kidnapping and Quick Intervention Units of the command to ensure the quick release of the victims.

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