Kidnapped Benue Priest Allegedly Received N4,000 From Abductors

Catholic Priest Kidnapped in Benue State

In a statement confirmed to newsmen on Wednesday evening, a Catholic priest has revealed that abductors of the earlier kidnapped priest gave him some money while allowing him to go after he had been reportedly tortured.

9jatoday understands that a Catholic priest identified as Rev. Fr. David Echioda was recently kidnapped by some unknown gunmen in Otukpo, Benue State, but has again been granted freedom by the gunmen on Tuesday.

It was reported on Sunday evening that the priest of Otukpo Catholic Diocese was taken away on the noon hour of Sunday along Alla-Akpa Road on his return home after conducting mass at Utonkon in the Ado Local Government Area of the state.

Speaking about the freedom of the priest on Wednesday, the Director of Communications, Otukpo Catholic Diocese, Rev. Fr John Okopopu, discloses to newsmen in a conversation on the phone that the kidnappers apologised to the priest for abducting him, revealed to him that he wasn’t their main target.

According to Okopopu, “abductors told Echioda they mistook him for a top politician they had information he was going to ply the route around 2 pm on Sunday but they waited until around 4 pm and did not see their target.”

“Yes, the priest was released yesterday (Tuesday) after the gunmen tortured him,” Okopopu.

He added, “His abductors said he was not their target and that they had information that a top politician was going to pass the road around 2 pm.”

“Unfortunately, when the gunmen could not see their target, they began to rob and the priest was the first to run into them and they dispossessed him of his belongings including the church money.

“They forced him into his vehicle, three men in the front, three at the back, with one searching him. They all carried AK-47 rifles and speaking Hausa. Despite communicating with them in Hausa, they tortured and later released him with an apology that he was not their target.

“They gave him N4,000 to take care of himself,” said Okopopu.

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