Catholic Priest Kidnapped in Enugu Found Dead


Christopher Isiguzo and Gideon Arinze in Enugu

About a week after he was reportedly kidnapped by unknown gunmen, the remains of Reverend Father Clement Rapuluchukwu Ugwu, the Catholic Priest of St. Mark Catholic Church, Obinofia Ndiuno in Ezeagu Local Government Area (LGA) of Enugu State were found dead yesterday. He was reportedly abducted on March 13, 2019, at about 9 p.m. in his parish. It was gathered that the gunmen suspected to be kidnappers, had shot him before they took him away in his blue-coloured Prado Jeep.

Speaking shortly after his remains were laid to rest at the Catholic cemetery of the Holy Ghost Cathedral, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga, called on the police to fish out the killers of his priest.

Onaga decried the spate of violent killings around the country, advising that Christians should intensify their prayers for the survival of the country.

He regretted that security agencies could not rescue Fr. Ugwu despite their assurances that they were closing on the kidnappers, while the abductors were making withdrawals from his account through his Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card.

Onaga who spoke in a motion-laden voice said, “all is not well in Enugu State. We should not continue to pretend about it while our people are killed everyday. Enugu State is not secured again. Criminals have shifted to Enugu State from Anambra while we said that Enugu is most secured.

“When Father Ugwu was kidnapped, we reported it to the police and since then I have visited police station three times, yet they kept telling me ‘we are closing in on the kidnappers’. I doubt they were doing anything because where the deceased body of Father Ugwu was found is not up to 20 kilometres from his house.”

Also speaking, the Director of Communication, Enugu Catholic Diocese, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Achi, called on the government of Enugu State to live up to its responsibility in protecting lives and property.

He expressed worry that this is the first time a priest would be kidnapped inside the Church premises in the Diocese.