Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo: Killers Of Catholic Priest Arrested


Men suspected to be the killers of a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo, have been arrested.

The cleric was kidnapped by some gunmen in at a popular Banana junction in Orlu Local Government Area of the state on Friday, September 1, in his car.

Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo was a priest in one of the Catholic dioceses in the state before he was murdered by the just arrested suspects.

His body was found the following morning in Omumma community in Oru East Local Government Area of the state. He was said to have arrived from Lagos on Thursday in preparation for the burial of his father who died the previous week.

According to Channels Television reports, the Bishop of Orlu Catholic Diocese Augustine Okwuoma described the murder as pathetic and unbelievable.

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Bishop Okwuoma said Father Cyriacus Onunkwo was amiable and loyal in his duties “which was why I sent him to Rome to further his studies and later on assignment in Lagos Catholic Diocese”.

The bishop tasked security operatives with effective policing and called for the creation employment opportunities for youths to deter them from engaging in criminal activities.

It also reported that at his country home in Umuotuasi village in Osina Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State, some family members could not hold back their tears after receiving the sad news.

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Similarly, Fr. Onunkwo’s friends in Orlu where the priest was ordained described him as a good man loved by all.

Meanwhile, the Imo State commissioner of police (CP), Mr Chris Ezike, said the police was doing everything possible to unravel the mystery behind the killings, especially as the Inspector General of Police had ordered a full investigation into the gruesome murder.

The CP told newsmen on Tuesday that the police had begun their investigations which would eventually unmask the culprits.

He described the incident as “inhuman and aberration” to human existence. “How can anybody think of kidnapping or murdering a priest who is ordained to serve God?

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“I am very optimistic that we will soon apprehend the culprits and bring them to book; this is my assurance to the Imo State Government, the family of the victim and the general public”, he said.

True to the words of the Police Commissioner, just two days after he assured that the culprits would be caught, two of them were nabbed.

Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, confirmed the arrest of the suspects while speaking at the Government House in Owerri, Imo State on Thursday, September 7.

“The suspects are already making reasonable confession that can help police in further investigations,” he said.