Unknown Gunmen Abduct Catholic Priest In Enugu Demand N100m Ransom

A Catholic priest identified as Rev Fr M Okide of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu and six other travellers were abducted by unknown gunmen in Enugu on Sunday evening. The incident occurred between 4.30 pm and 5 pm along Eke-Affa-Egede Road in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State. It was learnt that the kidnappers had already made telephone contacts with relatives of the victims demanding N100 million as ransom before the Catholic Priest and other captives would be released.

Reports said the kidnappers had left the children of the victims inside their car crying helplessly before police operatives arrived at the scene to evacuate them. The police command is yet to react to the incident but operatives of the Udi Police Division are already combing the area with a view to securing the release of the Catholic Priest and other victims.

Meanwhile, Troops of the 14 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Ohafia have neutralized alleged members of the self-acclaimed Biafran National Guard at Igboro forest, a boundary between Ohafia and Arochukwu Commumities in Abia state.

The brigade’s Public Relations Officer, Lt. Innocent Omale, disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Tuesday. Lt. Omale said that the troops made a major breakthrough in the operation, while acting on a credible, timely and reliable tip off.

He stated that the Biafran guard, an affiliate of the Indigenous People of Biafra, bowed to the troops’ superior and heavy firepower during the gun battle that lasted for minutes in the early hours of the day. Three of the guard members were neutralized, while unconfirmed number escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds, he added.

Lt. Omale also stated that the troops recovered a locally-constructed Improvised Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher with sixteen barrels mounted on a vehicle and one locally-constructed twelve-barrel launcher. Also recovered were one locally-constructed four-barrel launcher with tripod, six locally-constructed rocket launcher, one AK 47 rifle, one locally made den gun and four locally made Improvised Explosive Devices.

Others included one Baofeng radio, two machetes, one jack knife, five fragmental jackets, military uniforms and boots, one vehicle jack, code of conducts, an android phone and assorted charms. The brigade urged well-meaning residents of the state to cooperate with the security agencies by giving them credible, reliable and timely information that could help in averting the efforts of persons disrupting national peace.

However, the Supreme Court has set date to hear Nnamdi Kanu’s appeal against the Nigerian government over continued detention. Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, counsel to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, made the statement. He stated that the Supreme Court will in matter of days decide the date for hearing of Nnamdi Kanu’s appeal against the Court of Appeal’s verdict stopping his release from the Department of State Service (DSS) custody.

Recall that Nnamdi Kanu had on November 3, 2022, filed an appeal at the Supreme Court against the Court of Appeal’s October 28, 2022 verdict which stayed the execution of its earlier order discharging and acquitting him of all charges and directing his release from the custody of the Department of State Service (DSS).

The apex court had adjourned the hearing to September 14, 2023 but the date fell within the Supreme Court’s annual vacation period. Giving an update on the case on Monday, Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor in a statement stated that as the Supreme Court formally resumes the new Legal Year on Monday, the court will formally commence hearing of appeals next week.

Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor recalled that Nnamdi Kanu’s lead counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), had formally requested for the Court’s approval of September 28, 2023 as the new scheduled date for the hearing of the appeal following the cancellation of the earlier scheduled date

According to the words of Ifeanyi Ejiofor; “There is a positive indication that in the coming days, confirmation or otherwise of the proposed new date will be made public upon our Lead Counsel’s feedback. Our request is simple, let this appeal be heard with every urgency it deserves so that the fate of Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who has been illegally held in the solitary confinement of the DSS will be determined, having been discharged of all the frivolous criminal charges against him since the 13th day of October, 2022.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria has continued to detain him in custody in clear violation of this subsisting Judgment, and Orders of the Court of Appeal that directed for his unconditional release, and consequently, prohibited his further trial before any Court in Nigeria or detention in any custody. As I have consistently maintained, the wheel of justice may grind slowly, but it will grind exceedingly fine in no distant time,” he stated.

Austine Ikeru
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