Crime

Gunmen kidnap Catholic priest, Felix Akpan in Akwa Ibom

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A Roman Catholic priest of Ikot Ekpene Diocese, in Akwa Ibom State, Rev. Father Felix Akpan has been abducted by unknown gunmen.

Akpan, who is in-charge of St. Michael De Archangel Parish at Ikot Etim in Ukanafun Local Government Area, was whisked away by the unknown gunmen along Abak-Ukanafun Road on Wednesday.

The priest, also said to be a teacher at Top Faith International School, Mkpatak in Essien Udim LGA, was kidnapped on his way from school.

A local resident, who witnessed the incident, told Punch that, “The criminals blocked him on his way back from his school at Mkpatak, Essien Udim Local Government Area along Abak-Ukanafun Road while returning to his Parish in Ikot Etim, Ukanafun LGA.

“They forced him out of his SUV at gunpoint and bundled him into their car and sped off.”

Another colleague of the victim noted that the kidnappers were yet to establish contact with the church for ransom.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Donald Awunah, who confirmed the incident, said he had since deployed a team of police detectives to ensure that the priest was released unharmed.

The CP added that the priest’s SUV had been recovered at a mechanic garage, adding that some suspects who took custody of the vehicle had been arrested.

He said, “We are closing in on them. We have recovered his car in a mechanic garage and arrested those who had the custody of the vehicle; they are now helping us in our investigation.

“The Nigeria Police Force will remain cautious with the investigation to ensure that the priest regains his freedom without any harm.”

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