Operatives of the Enugu State Police Command on Wednesday arrested two leaders of a kidnap gang alleged to have abducted and killed a Catholic priest in Enugu, Rev. Fr. Clement Ugwu, in the Ezeagu Local Government Area of the state.
Late Ugwu was kidnapped in his parish, St. Mark Catholic Church, Obinofia Ndiuno, in the Ezeagu LGA on March 13, 2019, around 9pm shortly after he was said to have returned from a meeting.
The gunmen said to be four shot him before taking him away in his blue Prado Sport Utility Vehicle and later used his Automated Teller Machine card to make withdrawals from his account as they also negotiated with his family for ransom.
Several days after efforts to get the priest released failed, a search party was initiated by his parishioners in collaboration with the community; and after two days, the body of late Ugwu was found decomposing in a bush on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, a week after he was kidnapped.
A police source told our correspondent on Wednesday that the operatives of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the state command had arrested the leader and the second-in-command of the four-man gang that killed the priest.
The source said the leader of the gang was arrested in Abuja where he went to with his family members after killing the priest.
According to the source, the suspects were six-man-gang but only four participated in the kidnap and killing of the Reverend father.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Ebere Amaraizu, had confirmed the arrest of the suspects in a statement on Tuesday.
Amaraizu said, “The Enugu State Police Command wish to inform members of the public, particularly the people of the state, that some of the suspected kidnappers who were connected with the kidnap and murder of one Rev. Fr. Clement Ugwu, the parish priest of St. Marks Catholic Church in Obinofia Ndiuno in the Ezeagu LGA have been arrested.
“The suspects are helping the command in their investigation with a view to arresting the remaining fleeing members of their gang,” the statement read.
- He said the suspects would be paraded alongside other suspects on Thursday, adding that the two suspects were the ones that shot the priest and used his ATM to make withdrawals.