Edo State was taken aback on Monday after news of a killed Catholic Priest and local hunter hit major headlines.

The offenders suspected to be gunmen had abducted the clergyman in the early hours of June 26; while on his way to mass at his Parish. The deceased is Reverend Father Christopher Odia, who oversaw St. Michael Catholic Church at lkhabigbo in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo state up until his demise.

The incident was confirmed by the State’s Police Command through Jennifer Iwegbu, the Deputy Public Relations Officer of Edo State Command.

According to Iwegbu, rescue efforts were made by the Force; through deployment of combined tactical teams from Jattu Divisional Police headquarters to the scene. Local vigilantes were also called on to advance towards the forest believed to be the location of the kidnappers. A gunfire exchange ensued leading to the execution of the Catholic Priest; while a hunter was killed in the shootout.

‘Following the kidnap of the parish priest of St Michael Catholic Church, lkhabigbo, Etsako West local government area of Edo State, Rev Father Christopher Odia in his rectory while coming out to go for Sunday mass in the wee hours of 26/6/22, a combined Team of Police Tactical Teams, Jattu Divisional Police operatives and the local Vigilante team, led by the Divisional Police Officer, went into the forest with a view to rescuing the catholic priest.

‘In frustration, the kidnapped Rev Father Christopher Odia was killed by his abductors. A Hunter identified as Mr Nurudeen was also shot dead in the process while the superior firepower of the police personnel who went on the trail of the kidnappers decimated one of them.

‘Other gang members escaped with various gunshot injuries. Intensive bush combing is ongoing towards ensuring that those who escaped are arrested and made to face justice.

‘The Commissioner of Police CP Abutu Yaro fdc, commiserates with the Catholic community in Edo state and Nigeria as he urged the general public to remain calm and go about their lawful businesses as a security strategy has been put in place to ensure the arrest of the fleeing gang members,’ the full statement read.

The deatth of Odia comes barely 24 hours after another Catholic Priest, Reverend Father Vitus Borogo, was murdered by gunmen in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

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