The chaplain to the Bishop of the African Church, Ondo Central Diocese, Rev. David Ayeola has been killed by his abductors during a failed rescue operation by the Nigeria Police.
The remains of the cleric had been deposited in a morgue.
Rev. Ayeola, the bishop, Samuel Ojo and the bishop’s wife were reportedly travelling to Abeokuta, Ogun State, from Imojo Ekiti, Ekiti State, when they were ambushed by gunmen.
The bishop, his wife, Ayeola, and the driver of the car were said to have fled into the bush.
While others escaped, the chaplain was caught and abducted by the gunmen, it is understood.
The kidnapppers later contacted the headquarters of the church at Akure and demanded N100m. The church, however, offered them N500,000, which they turned down.
A top leader of the African Church told the Punch that the church’s leadership involved the Ekiti State Police Command in the rescue of the priest.
While trying to buy time with negotiation, the police also closed in on the hideout of the abductors, he said.
“On Saturday, the police swooped on the hideout of the kidnappers and there was an exchange of gunfire between them.
“The police team was overpowered and the kidnappers decided to shoot the priest. He was shot in the side; they (kidnappers) left his corpse behind. The family has taken the body to the morgue,” he added.
The Ekiti State Police Public Relations Officer, Adeyemi Ademola confirmed the Chaplain’s death.
He said, “Yesterday evening (Saturday), we received intelligence about where the reverend was being kept by the kidnappers. The police and some hunters went to rescue him. We discovered that the place was a very thick forest.
“When the kidnappers noticed that the police and the hunters were coming, they shot the reverend and escaped.
“We went after them for a while, but the team had to turn back when it was getting dark. This was to avoid endangering the lives of members of the team in a terrain that the kidnappers may be more familiar with. We took the reverend to a general hospital, but sadly, we lost him.”