Barely a year after gunmen killed a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo in Orlu, Imo State, another Catholic priest has been murdered by hoodlums in the same area. The latest victim was Rev Fr. Jude Egbom.
Tragedy struck in Nkwerre in the Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State on Monday night after gunmen murdered the Catholic priest and made away with his vehicle.
The gunmen equally wounded a seminarian was with the priest in his vehicle when the criminals struck.
Rev Fr. Jude Egbom, was until his death in charge of St Patrick’s Catholic Parish, Amucha, in the Njaba LGA of the state.
He hailed from Umuwala, a village in Nkwerre Community.
He was attacked around 8pm when he went to a barber’s shop on Anara-Nkwerre Road in Nkwerre town.
He reportedly resisted giving the car keys to his killers, which angered them.
The cleric was immediately shot together with the other victim in his vehicle ,while the criminals fled.
A native of the community said, “The circumstances surrounding the killing of the priest indicated that it was a case of armed robbery.
“It could not have been a case of assassination, who did the gentle priest offend? He was from our community, Nkwerre and was doing his missionary work at Njaba, a nearby LGA. ”
When contacted, the police spokesperson, Andrew Enwerem, confirmed the killings and said that the police commissioner, Dasuki Galadanchi, had deployed the Tactical Unit of the command in the area.
The priest was in his priestly regalia when they shot him dead.
Official report on why he was killed is not yet known; whether he was a victim of carjacking, roadside robbery or an assassiation.
It should be recalled that Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo, who was abducted on September 1, 2017 in Orlu was found dead the next day in Omuma community, Orlu. The priest had returned from overseas for the burial of his father. However, police later arrested and paraded the suspected killers of the priest. There is hope that the killers of Fr. Jude will be similarly arrested and paraded in no distant time.