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Catholic church wants suspected killer of priest, brother prosecuted

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Warns against cover-up

Catholic, priest
Obikwelu

Dayo Johnson – Akure

THE Catholic Church has demanded for the immediate prosecution of the suspected killer of one of its priests, Rev. Father Godwin Ofonyelu, and his brother, Obikwelu four years ago.

They warned against cover-up of the case by the police. The duo were murdered on the Owo-Oba-Ikare Akoko road in Ondo state in 2015.

Officers of the Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police arrested the leader of the killer gang, Simeon Anyaegbu recently but had refused to prosecute him.

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The suspect leader of the killer gang was nabbed four years after committing the crime and the Church and was moved to Akure, the Ondo state capital by the police for further investigation.

The victims were travelling in a Utility Vehicle when they were attacked by the armed robbers on the highway.

The robbers’ bullets hit the petrol tank of their vehicle, causing it to go up in flames and roasting the occupants alive.

However, after the arrest of the prime suspect, Anyaegbu, families of Ofonyelu yesterday raised the alarm over the delay in charging him to court by the police.

Pa Christian Ofonyelu, the father of the victims, had called for justice over the killing of his children.

He has also, through his lawyer, written a petition to the Ondo State Police Commissioner seeking urgent intervention on the case.

However, the Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese, His Excellency, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor has expressed gratitude to God for making it possible for the police to arrest the suspect, noting that the Diocese had cried for justice for too long.

Bishop Ezeokafor thanked the Officers and men of the Nigeria police for a job well done, noting that he was happy to hear that one of the suspects had been arrested and detained.

The Catholic bishop stated that the arrest had reminded the Diocese of a forgotten sorrow and sadness.

“This is really sad. Something we have endured for too long. We have tried to forget the sad news. It is something we will not like to remember. We lost one of our finest priests gruesomely.

“The Diocese will not take it lightly. We will not rest until justice is served. I call on the police to ensure that the suspect is charged to court without further delay. We are seriously interested in this matter,’ he said

Ezeokafor urged the police to carry out a thorough investigation and ensure that the suspect and his accomplices did not go unpunished.

He said that the Diocese would not rest until the culprits were arrested and tried, adding that giving the suspects the punishment they deserved would serve as a deterrent to others.

“We all are crying out for justice. Let him tell us why they killed Rev. Fr. Ofonyelu. Let the police do their job. Let them extract vital information from him. He needs to tell us how many they are and how to get them,’ Bishop Ezeokafor said.

Also, the President of Awka Catholic Diocesan Priests Fraternity (ACDPF), Very Rev. Fr. Peter Val Uzoezie, urged the security agents not sweep the matter under the carpet, noting that ” we are all watching to see the outcome of the investigation.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the police in Ondo, Femi Joseph who confirmed the arrest of the suspect, dismissed insinuations that the police wanted to sweep the case under the carpet.

Joseph told vanguard that investigation was ongoing and that the suspect would be charged to court as soon as the police detectives complete their investigation.

Vanguard

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