Police Corporal, five others arrested over death of Catholic Priest in Imo

Police on patrol [Photo: Beegeagle's Blog]
Police on patrol [Photo: Beegeagle's Blog]

The Imo State Police Command has arrested a police officer, Jude Madu, who allegedly masterminded the abduction and murder of a Catholic Priest, Cyriacus Onunkwo, recently.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Chris Ezike, said five other suspects had also been arrested in connection with the crime.

Mr. Ezike disclosed this in Owerri, the state capital while presenting the suspects to newsmen on Thursday.

He said following a directive by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to track down the culprits, the command moved into action and had so far arrested six persons in connection with the crime.

He said the command was able to achieve the feat through a whistle-blowing strategy and forensic technology.

Mr. Onunkwo, a reverend, was abducted on Friday at Banana junction in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State by gunmen.

His corpse was later found in Omuma the following day.

One of the suspects, Izuchukwu Okafor from Anambra, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Mr. Onunkwo was killed in error.

He claimed that the gang only kidnapped the priest for ransom but later discovered that he died while on transit to their hideout.

“When we kidnapped the priest, we used cello tape to seal his mouth, unknown to us, his nose was also sealed.

“When we discovered that he could no longer talk, we unsealed his mouth and found out that he has dead,” Mr. Okafor said.

Another suspect, Mr Onyema Cyril, from Onuimo Local Government Area of Imo, told NAN that when they discovered that their victim was a priest he opted for his release, but that the police officer who was among them threatened to shoot them if they released him.

Others presented to newsmen in connection with the crime are Emmanuel Ozuigbo, Victor Ikechukwu and Ifeanyi Nwosu.



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  • okpada

    Another group of Hausa Fulani herdsmen or boko haram. Hahahahaha. We have serious problem in our area and we are busying chasing shadows. Those who killed this priest – are they Muslims? Christians indeed!

    • 0tile

      This is why people are demanding state police. If the policeman who lead the kidnapping was from the East the priest would be alive today. May his soul rest in peace

      • okpada

        The police is from where; Is Jude Madu a Yoruba name or Hausa fulani’s name? Let us talk with air of sincerity in our heart of heart.

        • Julius

          Abeg, help me ask the moron.

      • Gordian

        Otile,if u dont av anything to say,i it’s better u keep mute,than talking frm ur anus.Is that d reason why d Easterners are free from corrupt ,n ritual money practices?

  • Frank Bassey

    “when they discovered that their victim was a priest he opted for his
    release, but that the police officer who was among them threatened to
    shoot them if they released him.” POLICE IS YOUR FRIEND.

  • brown charles

    Will a police commissioner wait until IGP directs him to go after criminals before he does his job

  • Kingo Kizito

    The fact is that I am from the south east, particularly from Imo and closely from Orlu the home diocese of the Rev. Fr Onunkwo, and personally know him. His gruesome murder is still a shock to me. A human being, a young man, an innocent citizen, and a priest who after hard labour overseas came home necessarily to bury his father and some miscreants who have refused to work but want cheap gains, cruelly abducted and murdered him without qualms. Though I am happy that none of the culprits was from Orlu . I have made my personal contribution on the articles related to this issue. I have used the occasion to invite my fellow Igbos to reconsider the value we give to material things. Kidnapping is so rampant in the east, with Igbos, with mostly youths from Anambra State, Mbaitolu LGA in Imo, Obowu in Okigwe, Imo, Umuaka, Nkume, Ekwe in Njaba LGA, Ikeduru in Imo, forming the ring leaders of these hoodlums, who conspire with people from neighbouring States of Rivers, Imo, Abia and Anambra, to carry out inter state kidnappings. I have asked myself why some Igbos (not all) are so greedy and avaricious that they are ready to kill so as to make money and take chieftaincy title or build skyscrappers, take women to hotels, ride big cars and that’s all – useless objectives for taking human life and risking their own life. This is a problem owing to our system of value where successful man is the one who splashes money and flaunts his cars. Some years, the famous rich 419 people were mostly from these communities that habour majority of the kidnappers in Imo State, Anambra, Rivers, Abia. Recently, it was Evans, some weeks later, it was “bishop the drug lord” on whose account bloods were shed inside a church, all from these communities. Presently, south east in these ember months, will become a danger zone just because our own brothers form gangs of criminals to terrorise us, rob us of our money and use it to live high life for one week (it is not that they invest the money, though that end does not justify criminality). And the worst is that, the propagandist and confused Nnamdi Kalu, cannot talk and condemn these atrocities, which contribute to portray the Igbos as their own worst enemy. This is one of the reasons why I categorically say that, though the unity of Nigeria is marginlising and needs to addressed, I don’t want Biafra because Igbos are their own enemies. We cry of underdevelopment in the south east, and we lament that Igbos prefer to invest in other States and countries, but we don’t ask how one can invest in such a dangerous environment where human life is not secured, and where armed robbers are always extorting whatever you make from your investment. If you don’t like it that way, you need to hire personal security to guard you, so you still spend your income uselessly only to liquidate after few years. I could remember the Christmas season three years ago, when kidnapping dirty business was at its peak, how south east was very dry and business activities slowed just because most Igbos in diaspora refused to be home for fear of being kidnapped or robbed or kiled. Under this situation, Igbos seem to find more home outside than at home. I will not delve into talking of the importance of State police in this moment. I will prefer to talk of the traditional rulers who have abandoned their role as fathers and custodian of moral values and now pursuing money and political careers. It should be their duty to report cases of delinquency in their communities, helping the police to track potential criminals. Again, the importance of education. It is only of recent that Anambra State is coming up in the field of education. In the past, the highest goal of an average Anambra child is to end up in the Onitsha main market – because they want to make money immediately and start splashing it like the defunct 419ner Ezego of Ihiala in Anambra or like Okwele Holdings in Nwangele LGA, Imo and their likes. If you observe well, the negligence of the importance of education for the youths has produced the likes of Evans, bishop, osisikankwu, Ezego. If these youths are in their thirties and fourties, it means that they are the consequence of 30-40 years of neglect of the power of knowledge. The same thing we can say with Boko haram and related security problems. Now, I appeal to Nigerians, especially Igbos, to wake up and upturn the extreme value we attribute to wealth and how we worship it. The first wealth for a nation is culture (education). Priority must be given to it considering its importance for the respect for human life, property and human and social development. Let us Igbos eschew unnecessary crave for material things and try to work hard and live by its fruits. Our envy against successful people must not lead us into plans to eliminate them or deprive them of their hard earned money. Everybody has right to enjoy his justly earned money or wealth and it is a crime trying to stop them under gun point. I have noticed that in the villages and towns, when you succeed, people don’t see the effort you made but they see only the fruit. The next step is how to prevent you from enjoying the fruit of your honest work, if you don’t stop daily at joints to offer them drinks (how can a man who has a future rely on this senior begging to live?). This is very bad and leading to committing atrocities. Our envy should lead us positively into hard work so as to be better than the successful ones. WE IN NIGERIA NEED TO CHANGE OUR MENTALITY AND VALUE SYSTEM. WE NEED TO KNOW THE BUSINESS OR THE JOB PEOPLE DO TO MAKE MONEY. WE NEED TO SEE WORK AS THE ONLY WAY TO SUCCESS. NO REASON, EVEN JOBLESSNESS IS ENOUGH TO INDULGE IN ARMED ROBBERY, KIDNAPPING OR OTHER ATROCITIES. WHOEVER WORKS HARD AND PLANS WELL, WILL NEVER GO STEALING. LET NNAMDI KALU CHANNEL HIS FAKE PROPAGANDA FOR BIAFRA TO SENSITIZATION TOUR IN FAVOUR OF EDUCATION, IN FAVOUR YOUTH EMPLOYMENT, IN FAVOUR OF HARMONY AND PARTICIPATION OF YOUTHS IN GOVERNANCE; LET HIM BE OUTSPOKEN AGAINST CRIMES THAT ARE COMMITTED WITHIN THE SOUTH EAST. THOSE ARE THE REAL ENEMIES OF THE REGION.