Abducted Methodist Church prelate, others regain freedom

The prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria, Samuel Uche, who was kidnapped on Sunday alongside three others, has been released, police said on Monday.

Abia police spokesman Godfrey Ogbonna confirmed the release of the clergymen in Umuahia.

Gunmen kidnapped Uche alongside the Methodist Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Dennis Mark, the prelate’s chaplain and the driver at the Okigwe/Isuochi axis on the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.

The clergymen were heading to Owerri Airport en-route Lagos after a Sunday service, when they were attacked and taken captive.

The assailants had contacted relations of the victims, demanding N100 million ransom.

It was not clear whether the ransom was paid or not before they were set free.

Ogbonna declined further comments on the development, but said “All I can confirm to you now is that they have all been released.’’

Also, the Presbyter of Wesley Cathedral, Umuahia, Very Rev. Aaron Akabuokwu, confirmed the cheering news to newsmen.

“It is true that the evil men that laid their hands on the men of God have set them free to the glory of God.

“Information reaching us is that the prelate, along with other victims, has been released.

“I don’t have details for now on where and how they were released by the kidnappers,’’ he said.