Thursday, December 2, 2021

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2 nabbed as gunmen kill, abduct catholic priests in Katsina

No fewer than two security guards have been arrested by the Katsina State Police Command over the killing of one priest and the abduction of another on Friday.

The St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church Malunfashi in Katsina was attacked by unknown gunmen and Frs Joe Keke and Alphonsus Bello were kidnapped.

Following the invasion, Fr Alphonsus Bello, the parish priest who is in his 30s was found lifeless in the farmland behind the Catechetical Traning School in Malunfashi, while the whereabouts of Fr. Joe Keke remain unknown.

Commenting on the matter Friday, the Katsina State’s Commissioner of Police, Sanusi Buba, said that two people who were employed as security guards in the church have been arrested in connection with the attack.

“We don’t want to conclude that it is a case of kidnapping just yet. We have arrested some people at the Catholic facility for possible complicity in the incident.

“People came and picked two of the priests in the Catholic facility and one was eventually discovered [dead] by one of the guards, according to him, because there is a gate and for people to come in like that and pick these people in that fashions creates room for suspicions.

“We’ve affected some arrests and we’re making substantial progress.”

Buba added that the arrested suspects “are security men who made the entry of the hoodlums easy into the facility and they are helping us in our investigation. Two have been arrested.”

While Fr Keke, the former parish priest, remains unaccounted for, the Communications Director, Diocese of Sokoto, Fr Chris Omotosho narrated how the hoodlums broke into the priests’ apartment.

He said the gunmen “just went to their house, they broke into it. They used some kind of chemical to melt the iron door, they opened it and asked them to come out.”

The priest added that “the body of the priest [Fr Bello] has been taken to the mortuary.”

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