Unidentified gunmen abducted a Catholic priest in Nigeria’s central state of Kogi on Monday, demanding a at least 20,000 U.S. dollars ransom for his release, local authorities have said.
The gunmen stormed a church in Ikanepo parish with “dangerous weapons” in the morning and took away Father Innocent Umoru, said Father Hyacinth, a priest in the church where Umoru works.
“After several hours of the incident at the church, the kidnappers called the leader of the diocese, Bishop Anthony Adaji, with seized cell phone of their victim and demanded four million naira (20,000 U.S. dollars),” the priest said.
Local police have confirmed the incident but no breakthrough has been made in the investigation.
On Feb. 25, Phyllis Sortor, a 71-year-old American woman working as a Christian missionary, was kidnapped in the same state, also with a large ransom demanded for her release. She was rescued in March.
Kidnappings have been rampant in southern, northern and central Nigeria as a strategy to earn money, some by Boko Haram militants, some by unemployed youths. Enditem