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Edo Catholic cleric killed during rescue operation – Police

The Edo State Police Command has said one of the suspected kidnappers who murdered the parish priest of St. Michael Catholic Church, lkhabigbo, Edo State, Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia, has been killed.

The state Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu, in a statement on Monday, said other members of the gang sustained gunshot injuries.

The statement read, “Following the kidnap of the parish priest of St. Michael Catholic Church, lkhabigbo, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia, in his rectory while coming out to go for Sunday mass in the wee hours of June 25, 2022, a combined team of police tactical teams, Jattu divisional police operatives and the local vigilante team, led by the Divisional Police Officer, went into the forest with a view to rescuing the catholic priest.

“In frustration, the abductors killed Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia. A hunter, identified as Nurudeen, was also shot dead in the process, while police personnel who went on the trail of the kidnappers decimated one of them with other gang members escaping with various gunshot injuries.

“Intensive bush combing is ongoing towards ensuring that those who escaped are arrested and made to face justice.”

Meanwhile, the Edo State Acting Governor, Philip Shaibu, has condemned the killing of the priest.

Shaibu, who led other government functionaries and heads of security agencies in the state to Ikabigbo, called for calm among residents in the community.

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