The abducted Catholic priest in Imo State, Rev. Prof Izu Marcel Onyeocha, has regained his freedom.
Owerri Provincial Secretary of Claretian Missionaries, Rev Fr Matthew Iwuagwu, announced the priest’s release in a statement on Monday.
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Police Public Relations Officer in the State, SP Orlando Ikeokwu, also confirmed the release.
Onyeocha, who is a professor of Philosophy at the Imo State University, Owerri, is a priest in the congregation of Claretian Missionaries.
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, by a group of persons suspected to be herdsmen.
Fr Iwuagwu disclosed that Fr Onyeocha was dropped off at the Ihube Community in Okigwe council area of the state in the early hours of Monday.
According to him, the kidnappers might have apparently become frustrated when no one was willing to pay ransom for the release of the priest and quickly let him go.
Onyeocha was said to have trekked to St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral, Okigwe, from where he returned to his base.
Iwuagwu said, “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 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.”