Two priest of the Catholic church who were abducted earlier on Saturday in Delta state, have regained freedom.
The priest, Rev. Fr. Raphael Ogigbah, parish priest of St. Francis Catholic Parish, Agbarha-Otor, and Rev. Fr. Kunav Chochos, a Missionary Priest of the Schoenstartt Fathers, were released on Thursday, according to sources.
Ogigbah and Chochos were kidnapped Saturday night at the front of Michael and Cecilia Ibru University, Agbarha-Otor in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.
Chochos, who works and lives in Ibadan, Oyo State, was in Delta to visit his friend, Fr Ogigbah, at Agbarha-Otor, the country home of late industrialist, Michael Ibru.
It was gathered that gunmen released the priest at noon on Thursday from their hideout but it was not clear if any ransom was made by the church.
The captors had demanded N20 million ransom earlier for their release.
This is coming a day after police Command in the state said one Felix popularly known as “OBJ”, a suspected armed robber, was gunned down during a gun duel in Agbarho, Ughelli North local government area of the State.
The suspect was shot and later confirmed dead at the hospital, while three other suspects namely Stephen Precious, 19, Godstime Sunday, 28, and Apene Prince, 28, were arrested with various degrees of bullet injuries, state police spoeksman, DSP Bright Edafe said, in a statement.
He said that the development followed reports of kidnapping and armed robbery operations in Ughelli, Warri and environs.
According to him, the Deputy Commissioner of Police operations, DCP Johnson Adenola had mandated all divisional police officers in the Command to gather intelligence and ensure that this ugly trend is nipped in the bud.
Edafe, said that in compliance with this directive, the police on April 30, 2023 at about 1300hrs, stormed a hotel in Agbarho acting on information received that the suspects and others where hibernating there.
He said that armed robbery gang had earlier snatched one AK47 rifle from a police officer and also allegedly kidnapped and murdered one Godspower Emmanuel after collecting four hundred thousand naira (N400,000) ransom.
The police spokesman said that the DPO Ovwian Aladja division, CSP Aliyu Shaba, led detectives to the area in search of the suspects who were sited at the hotel
He said that “OBJ” and his suspected gang members on sighting policemen from their hideout, opened fire on them and in response the police engaged them in a gun duel while the search was ongoing.
One AK 47 rilfe with breech no. 19617, eighteen (18) rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, one English double barrel gun, eleven (11) Android phones, two botton phones, one long knife, one suspected stolen white coloured GLK Mercedes Benz with reg. no YAB 733 BK, two bottles of codeine, two wraps of weed suspected to be Indian hemp were recovered. Investigation is ongoing, he added.