Six days after he was abducted, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, Bishop Moses Chikwe has been rescued with his driver.
The police rescued the cleric unhurt as a result of a sting operation embarked upon by the tactical squad of the Imo State Police Command led by its Anti Kidnapping Unit.
Bishop Chikwe and his driver Ndubuisi Robert were said to have been rescued on Thursday evening at about 10pm after spending six days in the den of the kidnappers.
The bishop was kidnapped together with his driver on December 27.
The police in a statement by the command’s spokesman, Orlando Ikeokwu, said the hoodlums also on the day kidnapped one 33-year old lady, Chioma Ekwedike, at Imo Housing Estate Umuguma, Owerri West LGA in front of her residence.
Head and the Officer in Charge of the state police command, newly promoted AIG Isaac O. Akinmoyede, was said to have activated all the tactical teams in the command, and charged them to rescue the Bishop and others, and arrest the hoodlums responsible for the act.
He said that a combined unit of all the tactical teams on the December 31, 2020 stormed Awara, Ohaji/Egbema LGA and Omuku creeks and arrested some of the criminals with some incriminating items recovered from them.
According to him, the arrest of the suspects and other coordinated operations by the command led to the kidnappers abandoning victims, leading to the rescue of the bishop and two other victims unhurt and without payment of any ransom.
He said that efforts are ongoing to arrest the fleeing members of the notorious kidnapping syndicate.
“It is noteworthy to mention that an online media platform last week came up with the news of the death of the Bishop. In the online report, it was claimed that the Auxiliary Bishop was beheaded and his head and decapitated body recovered somewhere in Anambra State.
He, therefore, warned against such speculative and junk reporting especially on social media as such is capable of causing a breach of peace.
The command also commended the public and the Christian community for their understanding and support during the period and the confidence reposed in the Nigeria Police to resolve the crime.
“We however wish to assure everyone that the Command remains capable of protecting all law-abiding citizens of the state,” it stated.
Meanwhile, Archbishop of Owerri, Anthony Obinna, in a statement Saturday expressed gratitude to God for the release of the bishop.
He also thanked Pope Francis for mentioning the incident in his new year message and the prayer of cardinals and bishops including the Christian communities and all Nigerians during the period of the captivity.
Buhari commiserates with King Sunny Ade over wife’s death
President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with ace musician, King Sunny Ade, over the demise of his wife, Risikat Ajoke Adegeye, who was a member of the 6th Lagos State House of Assembly.
Buhari, in a release on Wednesday by his Media Adviser, Femi Adesina, also condoled with the Lagos State Government, House of Assembly members, her friends and political associates, urging trust in God at this very difficult time.
The President prayed the Almighty God should comfort the deceased’s husband, family and loved ones, while granting her soul eternal rest.
Four die, one missing as Lagos-Kano bus plunges into Kogi river
Tragedy struck Tuesday night in Kogi State as an 18-seater bus plunged into the Black River, a tributary to River Niger, in the Koton Karfe area, killing four of its occupants.
Solomon Agure, Kogi State Sector Commander of the Federal road Safety Corps, confirmed that the accident occurred around 7.30pm.
He said the bus with registration number Plateau – JJN 73 XA took off from Ijora Seven Up park in Lagos and was heading for Kano.
According to Agure, four people, including a woman, died in the accident while seven others were critically injured.
The driver was said to have lost control of the vehicle after sleeping off.
The state Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Suleiman Mafara, said after receiving a distress call, his men in conjunction with FRSC officials and volunteer divers moved to the scene.
He said four corpses had been recovered and 13 others rescued alive while one person could not be accounted for.
He added that his men and other Security personnel were working to recover the only person yet to be accounted for.
The recovered corpses, according to Marafa, have been deposited at a mortuary in Lokoja.
He warned drivers and commuters to adhere strictly to road safety guidelines so as to avoid preventable accidents on the highways.
Lagos governor hails Remi Tinubu at 61
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has congratulated senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District, Oluremi Tinubu, on the occasion of her 61st birthday.
Governor Sanwo-Olu described the former First Lady of Lagos State as a great asset to Lagos State and Nigeria, who has contributed immeasurably towards nation-building.
The governor in a statement by Gboyega Akosile, his Chief Press Secretary, said the three-term senator and philanthropist has contributed immensely to humanity and governance with her laudable programmes as First Lady and currently as a member of the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly.
He added that the federal lawmaker has played critical roles in the growth and development of Lagos State and Nigeria, thereby setting examples for other women in leadership and governance.
He said, “On behalf of my dear wife, Ibijoke and the good people of Lagos State, I heartily congratulate a political icon, the distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu on the occasion of her 61st birthday celebration.
“Over the years, Senator Oluremi Tinubu has emblazoned her name on the national and international stage as a lover of truth, an advocate of social justice, philanthropist and a loud voice of the voiceless.
“Senator Tinubu’s penchant for diligence and distinction is evident in her contributions to the development of Nigeria’s socio-economic and political landscape as former First Lady in Lagos State and as distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic.
“On this occasion of her 61st birthday, I pray that God will continue to preserve and grant her good health to enable our distinguished Senator Oluremi Tinubu to render more service to humanity, Nigeria and our beloved State, Lagos.”
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