– Cyril Essien, who was recently kidnapped by some unknown gunmen, regained his freedom after allegedly paying a sum of N350,000
– Okon Ayi, a witness, reported that the abduction was done just after the evening mass at the church
– The state’s police public relations officer, ASP Irene Ugbo, who confirmed the kidnap said the victim recovered after police men swung into action
A Catholic priest, Rev Fr Cyril Essien, who was earlier abducted, regained his freedom from the clutches of alleged kidnappers after paying a ransom of N350,000.
The priest was kidnapped on Friday, December 8, around the confines of a Catholic church in Awi, in the Akamkpa local government area of the state by some armed men.
The Punch reports that the priest was released on Sunday, December 10, he was ransomed after the payment was paid.
Okon Ayi, who witnessed the abduction, disclosed on Monday, December 11, that Essien was seized just after the church’s evening mass by five gunmen who stormed the church and shot several times.
Okon said: “It was the sound of gunshots that drew my attention. I looked around and saw armed men. They took the priest away in a waiting vehicle.”
“He was released on Sunday after the kidnappers got the ransom. They dropped N350,000 in a particular spot on Edgerton Street in Calabar.”
The state’s police public relations officer, ASP Irene Ugbo confirmed the kidnap. He also said the priest had been released.
Ugbo said: “The priest was kidnapped in front of the church on Friday and was taken away by five armed. We immediately swung into action when information got to us.“We dispatched our men who rescued the victim.”
The Punch reports that Rev Father Felix Akpan was abducted by yet-to-be identified gunmen along Abak-Ukanafun Road.
According to reports, Father Akpan is in-charge of St. Michael De Archangel Parish at Ikot Etim in Ukanafun local government area and also teaches at Top Faith International School, Mkpatak in Essien Udim LGA.
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