Prosecute those arrested – Catholic diocese demands

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The Catholic Diocese of Ondo has called on the government to urgently prosecute the recently arrested criminal suspects in connection with the June 5 attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, days after their arrest.

Gunmen had stormed St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, killing no fewer than 40 worshipers and injuring at least 80 other persons.

The incident which drew widespread anger and condemnation had president Buhari mandating security agencies to arrest the attackers.

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Following the order, the Nigerian military recently revealed that it had arrested suspects in connection with the crime during a press briefing.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, announced the arrest of four suspects while days later, the military authority also disclosed it arrested two additional ISWAP terrorists linked to the attack.

They were apprehended at Omialafara, Ose LGA, Ondo State.

Taking to its verified Facebook page, in a short but terse message with a hashtag ‘‘#June5 #wewillneverforget’, the diocese said, “the apprehension of those responsible for the attack at our St. Francis Church in Owo is welcome news; however, we feel strongly that the criminals that carried out this horrific attack, as well as those that supported their evil efforts, must now be prosecuted to the full extent of the law”.

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Meanwhile, the Vatican, in a newsletter, had conveyed its sorrow and spiritual closeness to the people of Owo, describing the act as an ‘unspeakable violence’.

Pope Francis had since ‘commended the souls of the victims of the attack to the loving mercy of God and also implored divine healing and consolation upon those injured and the grieved’, the letter said.

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