Abductors of Catholic priest demand N35m

The abductors of Rev. Fr. Christopher Ogaga of Emmanuel Catholic Church, Oviri-Okpe, Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State, have demanded N15 million ransom for his release.

 

Abductors of Catholic priest demand N35m

 

The priest was abducted in the early hours of Saturday by gunmen who accosted his car while travelling to Warri to honour an invitation to assist the parish priest of Mother of Redeemer Catholic Church, Airport Junction, Effurun, to officiate in one of the three masses slated for Sunday morning.

 

The demand for the N15 million ransom was made known barely 24 hours after the tragic collapse of a Catholic church building on Sunday morning within the same council area, which claimed one life and left about 15 persons critically injured.

 


Investigations revealed that Ogaga, who is a priest of two other parishes of the church, St. Luke’s Catholic Church, Oviri Okpe, and St. Jude’s Catholic Church, Aghalopke, is also the principal of St. Peter Clavers College, Aghalokpe.

 

A parishioner who pleaded anonymity said: “He left the house and he was heading to Warri through Arava-Oviri-Orere-Okpe road. That is the route he used to take to Warri. We are suspecting that he might have been kidnapped along this route.

 


“He was driving alone when the incident happened because he usually travels to Warri alone on Sundays. We were supposed to go with him that Saturday but we did not go with him.”

 


Confirming the incident, the Commissioner of Police, Delta State, Mr. Muhammad Mustafa, said his command has swung into action to track those behind the kidnap of the priest. 

 


“We are already searching for the kidnappers. He was kidnapped two days ago,” he said, adding that everything would be done to ensure the priest’s speedy and safe rescue.

 


Meanwhile, an APC source explained that the kidnappers placed a call to the Ashofor family on Sunday to make their demands known. The source said that the family, however, pleaded with the kidnappers to reduce the ransom to N600,000 as they could not afford to cough out such a huge amount of money.
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