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Kidnapped Imo Catholic priest regains freedom

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KIDNAPPED Imo State Catholic priest, Rev. Prof. Izu Marcel Onyeocha has regained freedom.

  This was contained in a statement issued by the Owerri Provincial Secretary of Claretian Missionaries, Rev. Fr. Matthew Iwuagwu, on Monday.

  The cleric, a professor of Philosophy at the Imo State University, is a priest in the congregation of Claretian Missionaries. He was kidnapped by a group of persons suspected to be herdsmen, according to the state police command.

  He was kidnapped on Saturday evening along the Enugu-Port Harcourt Express Road at Ihube community in Okigwe Council Area of the state when he was returning from Enugu to Owerri.

  The statement read, “With grateful hearts, we wish to thank the Almighty God for the release of Fr. Izu Marcel Onyeocha from the den of the kidnappers.

  “The Provincial Superior has spoken with him. He is in a stable condition.

  “We wish to thank the priests at St Mary Cathedral, Okigwe, for their care and hospitality.

“We also thank the security operatives for their assistance.

“We appreciate everyone who stormed heaven with prayers. God is ever faithful and He answered us”.

Speaking with newsmen, Fr. Iwuagwu disclosed that Fr. Onyeocha was dropped off at the Ihube Community in Okigwe Council Area of the state in the wee hours of Monday.

He said the kidnappers apparently became frustrated that no one was willing to pay ransom for the release of the priest and quickly released him.

  The victim was said to have trekked to St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral, Okigwe, from where he returned back to his base.

  The cleric’s release was also confirmed by the police public relations officer, Imo state Police Command, Orlando Ikeokwu.

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