• As Kidnapped Owerri Catholic Bishop, Driver Regain Freedom
•Archbishop Obinna Lauds Security Agencies, Others For Feat
The Auxiliary Bishop of the Owerri Catholic Archdiocese, Dr. Moses Chikwe, and his driver, Ndubuisi Robert, on Friday, regained freedom, after six days in their abductors’ den.
In two separate statements, yesterday, one signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Imo Command, Orlando Ikeokwu, a Superintendent of Police (SP), and another by the Archbishop of the Archdiocese, Dr. Anthony J. V. Obinna, confirmed their release.
Police maintained that though Obinna commended the Department of State Services (DSS), the Service was not part of the rescue mission.
The Police cautioned against fake news, saying : “It is noteworthy to mention that an online media platform, last week, came up with the news of Bishop’s death. In the report, it was claimed that the Bishop was beheaded and his decapitated body recovered somewhere in Anambra State.
“The Command, therefore, wishes to warn against such speculative and junk reporting, especially in social media, as such is capable of causing breach of peace.
“The Command commends the public and Christian community for calmness during the period and the confidence reposed on the Nigeria Police to resolve the crime… ”
Recall that Chikwe and his driver were abducted on December 27, around World Bank axis, after a church service he officiated. The hoodlums, later, returned his car and bishopric regalia and parked them at the premises of Assumpta Catholic Cathedral, Owerri, the same day and walked away un-arrested.
The police statement read: “The Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, Bishop Moses Chikwe has been rescued unhurt, as a result of a sting operation embarked upon by the tactical squad of the Command, led by the Anti kidnapping Unit.
“Recall that on 27/12/2020, the Auxiliary Bishop was kidnapped together with his driver, and the hoodlums went ahead to kidnap one Chioma Stephenie Ekwedike ‘f’ aged 33 years, at Imo Housing Estate Umuguma, Owerri West Local Council in front of her residence.
“Pursuant to the above, the Head and the Officer in Charge of the state Police Command, newly promoted AIG Isaac O. Akinmoyede, activated all tactical teams in the Command, and charged them to rescue the Bishop and others, and arrest the hoodlums responsible for the act.
“Acting on the said directive, a combined unit of all the tactical teams on December 31, 2020 stormed Awara, Ohaji/Egbema Local Council and Omuku creeks. A few persons positively linked to the crime and criminals were arrested, and some incriminating items recovered.
“The arrest of the suspects and other coordinated operations by the Command led to the kidnappers abandoning victims, leading to rescue of the bishop and two other victims unhurt and without payment of any ransom. Efforts are ongoing to arrest the fleeing members of the notorious kidnapping syndicate.”
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