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The kidnappers who abducted the parish priest of the St Michael’s Catholic Church Umuekebi in the Osuowerre Autonomous Community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State, Rev Fr Kingsley Eze, popularly known as Father Ichie and his driver, Uchennna Newman, have placed a ₦10m bounty for their release.
The Eastern Updates recalls that the yet-to-be-identified gunmen had on Thursday night kidnapped the duo at the Orieama Junction, and robbed shop owners at the scene before fleeing with their targets.
They also shot a passer-by who was rushed to an undisclosed hospital.
The priest and Newman, who drove him in a Volvo, were kidnapped at the Orieama Junction around 8pm on Thursday night.
A parishioner who doesn’t want to be mentioned told The Eastern Updates on Thursday morning that their abductors had reduced the N50m ransom placed on the victims’ heads to N10m.
He told reporters that the kidnappers had contacted the driver’s wife on Sunday and Monday, respectively and made a demand of N50m.
The distraught parishioner said the kidnappers also called on Wednesday and reduced the amount to N10m.
The source said, ‘They called the driver’s wife on Sunday and Monday respectively and made a demand of N50m. But I learnt that they have called again and reduced the amount to N10m. Where will the poor priest and the other person get that kind of amount from? Let nothing happen to them. We pray for their safe return.’