Crime News

Suspected Bandits Hack Another Priest To Death In Niger State, Tie His Corpse To A Tree

Gunmen, suspected to be bandits, have killed another Catholic priest, Father John Gbakaan to death in Niger State.

The priest in charge of St. Theresa Catholic Parish Madala, Father John Jatau confirmed this to Channels Television on Sunday, saying his killers descended on him with machetes, hacking his body beyond recognition and then tied his body to a tree in the bush.

He said Father Gbakaan alongside his brother and another priest Thursday travelled to Makurdi in Benue state where he went to see his mother. But on his way back, he and his brother were attacked by gunmen along Lambata-Lapai road around 9 pm after Father Gbakaan had dropped Father Jatua at Suleja.

According to Father Jatau, the body of the priest was found the following day, Saturday, tied to a tree in a bush, after some vigilante members in the area raised alarm.

The brother of the deceased was abducted and yet to be found.

Father Jatau said the gunmen on Saturday called the Catholic Diocese in Minna, demanding for the sum of Thirty Million Naira as ransom but later agreed to take Five Million Naira.

As at the time of filing this report, negotiations were said to be ongoing, while the body of the slain priest has been deposited at the IBB Specialist Hospital mortuary in Minna.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the State, ASP Abiodun Wasiu is yet to confirm the incident as at the time of filing this report.

The killing of Father Gbakaan brings to two the number of Christian clerics killed recently since the renewed banditry attacks in Niger State.

In December 2020, a clergy with the Evangelical Church of West Africa was killed at Chukuba village in Shiroro local government area by gunmen on his farm.

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