Catholic priest killed, brother kidnapped after visiting mum in Benue

Unknown gunmen have killed a Catholic priest in Niger State and kidnapped his brother.

Rev. Fr. John Gbakaan and his brother whose name has not been confirmed were returning from Makurdi, Benue State capital last Thursday after visiting their mother when they were attacked.

A friend of the deceased Rev. Fr. John Jatau told Channels Television on Sunday that the brothers were attacked along Lambata-Lapai road after another priest who was travelling with them had alighted at Suleja.

Fr. Gbakaan suffered machete cuts in the attack, he said.

Prior to his death, the priest was the dean of the newly-created Lapai Deanery and was also in charge of St. Anthony’s Parish, Gulu in Lapai Local Government Area of Niger.

Fr. Jatau further said the body of the priest was found on Saturday tied to a tree in a bush.

The priest said the suspected killers have demanded for a ransom of N5 million to release Fr. Gbakaan’s brother, after initially asking for N30 million.

The body of the slain priest has been deposited at the IBB Specialist Hospital mortuary in Minna, Niger State capital, he added.

Niger police spokesman Abiodun Wasiu could not be reached for comments.