ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The abductors of the parish priest of the St Michael’s Catholic Church Umuekebi in the Osuowerre Autonomous Community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State, Rev Fr Kingsley Eze and his driver, Uchennna Newman, have placed a N10m ransom for their release.
Gunmen had on Thursday night kidnapped the priest popularly known as Father Ichie and his driver at the Orieama Junction, and robbed shop owners at the scene before fleeing with their targets.
The kidnappers also shot a passer-by who was rushed to an undisclosed hospital.
The priest and Newman, who drove him in a Volvo, were kidnapped at the Orieama Junction around 8pm on Thursday.
A parishioner who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Punch on Wednesday that their abductors had reduced the N50m ransom placed on the victims’ heads to N10m.
The parishioner further stated that the kidnappers had contacted the driver’s wife on Sunday and Monday, respectively and made a demand of N50m.
The distraught parishioner said the kidnappers also called on Wednesday and reduced the amount to N10m.
The source said: “They called the driver’s wife on Sunday and Monday respectively and made a demand of N50m. But I learnt that they have called again and reduced the amount to N10m.
“Where will the poor priest and the other person get that kind of amount from? Let nothing happen to them. We pray for their safe return.”