Rampaging hoodlums in Imo State, weekend, murdered a Claretian priest of the Catholic Church in Owerri.
The priest, whose full identity could not be ascertained at press time, was an academic staff of Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo, in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of the state.
Confirming the incident yesterday in a telephone interview, Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said the priest was murdered by assassins on a bush path.
Enwerem said: “The police are suspecting that it was a clear case of assassination. The priest was gruesomely murdered along a very lonely bush path that would have led him into Port Harcourt Road.”
While noting that whatever happened to the priest might be connected with the bickering and happenings in Imo Polytechnic, Enwerem, however, wondered why the Catholic priest chose to use such a lonely bush path.
He said: “The police are suspecting that whatever happened to the priest cannot be far from the ceaseless bickering emanating from the polytechnic.
“Again, I wonder why the priest chose to use the lonely bush path on his Toyota SUV.”
He confirmed that although the police have recovered the vehicle, no arrests had been made in connection with the crime.
The PPRO said that police patrol teams were despatched to the area as soon as the information was passed on to them.
He said: “The youths of the community joined the police in combing the surrounding bushes. The hoodlums simply perfected and carried out their damnable act before vanishing into the thin air.”
Enwerem confirmed that the command had not only expanded its dragnet to all corners of the state, but were following all available leads.
Enwerem said: “There is the likelihood that the assassins carefully monitored the priest’s movement and laid ambush for him on his track. Honestly, it was a gruesome murder.”