An Owerri-based lawyer, Uche Ejimonye, has recounted how his father-in-law, Valentine Enwere was shot dead by gunmen who also abducted two Catholic church priests.
According to a statement obtained by Punch in Owerri, the Imo State capital, on Monday, 22 August 2022, Ejimonye said the killers of his father-in-law trailed the man from Amaraku in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of the state to Orji Junction where he and the two priests were caught up by a traffic gridlock.
Ejimonye said the gunmen shot his father-in-law several times and abducted the two Catholic priests he was carrying in his vehicle on Friday evening, August 19, 2022.
He said his father-in-law was rescued by an eyewitness but unfortunately died before they could get to a hospital.
"I wish to announce the demise and sudden death of my father-in-law, Valentine Enwere, popularly known as ‘Oga Val’ at Orji Mechanic Village," the statement read.
"He was shot dead by kidnappers at Orji after fleeing from them from Amaraku to Owerri and surviving the series of gunshots at his vehicle, but was caught up by the hold-up at Orji, but on attempt to escape after coming down from his vehicle, he was shot five times at the back.
"The kidnappers then left with the two Reverend Fathers that were with him in the car and zoomed off.
"Attempt by passers-by to rescue him and take him to the hospital proved abortive as he died on the way to the hospital. It is really regrettable on the situation of this our state and what it has turned into."
The lawyer said the incident had been reported at the Anti-kidnapping Unit of the state Police Command in Owerri.
He, however, said his father-in-law was the person who could have known the identities of the kidnapped Catholic priests and the diocese they were from.
When contacted by the publication, the Director of Communications of the Owerri Catholic Archdiocese, Rev’d Fr. Raymond Ogu, said the archdiocese had yet to receive any report about any missing priest in any of its parishes as of the time of filing this report.