Gunmen, suspected to be cultists, on Saturday morning killed a Catholic priest and lecturer in the Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo, Rev. Fr. Desmond Osuagwu in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
The priest, who is a member of the congregation of the Claretian Missionaries, Eastern Province, Nigeria, was said to be heading for the St. Mark’s Catholic Chaplaincy, Obinze Barracks, where he served as a Chaplain to conduct the day’s Eucharistic mass for the men of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
It was gathered that the assailants waylaid him on the road at a pathway before Avu junction, along the Port Harcourt Road, Owerri, dragged him out of his SUV before he was killed by stabbing him in his neck and his stomach.
A reliable source told our correspondent that the suspected cultists dragged him into a nearby bush, tied him on a tree and killed him. According to the source, the assailants did not take any money from the priest’s car.
Osuagwu, who hails from Obowo Local Government Area of the state, was until his untimely death, the Director of Students Industrial Works Experience Scheme at the Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo.
The cleric, who celebrated his 25 years anniversary as a priest last year, was reported to be among the top contenders for the position of Superior-General of the Claretian priests, slated to hold sometime in 2016.
The Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, Andrew Enwerem, confirmed the incident.
He said, “We heard the information that morning and immediately moved our men to the scene of the incident. The state police command is intensifying all efforts to see that the perpetrators of the dastard action are brought to book. We must surely get them.”