Abducted Catholic priest regains freedom in Niger state after N10m ransom payment

The abducted Catholic Priest of St Mary’s Catholic Church, Sarkin Pawa, in Niger State, Very Rev Dr Leo Raphael Ozigi has regained freedom after two weeks in captivity. 

 

LIB reported that the priest was abducted alongside 44 other villagers on Gwada-Sarkin Pawa road on March 27.

 

The Secretary, Niger State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Raphael Opawoye, who confirmed his release to Daily Trust, said the cleric was released on Friday, April 8.

 

“He was released yesterday and ransom was paid,” Opawoye added. 

 

According to Thisday, the clergyman was released after the payment of N10 million by the Catholic Church in Minna.

 

It was gathered that a high powered delegation was in Birningwari forest in Kaduna State to pay the ransom to the bandits on Friday.

 

The team, according to a reliable source, left Minna, the Niger State capital, at about 11am on Friday with the ransom packed in a large envelope which was delivered to the bandits at an appointed spot after which the contact person asked the team to go towards Zaria to pick the Reverend father.

Ozigi, it was learnt, trekked several kilometres before he could team up with members of the church.

 

“He is very sick; he could hardly walk,” a member of the team, who went to facilitate the clergyman’s release, said.

 

Asked about the whereabouts of the clergyman, the source said: “He is somewhere receiving treatment, he has to go for physiotherapy because he couldn’t walk.”