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Catholic priest dies four days after escaping kidnappers’ den

The Chaplain of the Seat of Wisdom Catholic Chaplaincy of the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Delta State, Very Rev. Fr. Dr Louis Odudu, who recently escaped from a kidnappers’ den, is dead.

Odudu died on Wednesday, four days after he escaped from his abductors’ den.

Sources in the Catholic Diocese of Warri said that the priest was abducted last week Friday and he escaped on Saturday.

Although the immediate cause of death could not be ascertained by our correspondent, it was gathered that the incident was not unconnected with his abduction.

Family, friends and parishioners were still celebrating his freedom when the news of his death filtered into town on Wednesday.

He was said to have been pronounced dead at a private hospital in Warri, hours after he reportedly complained of pains and demanded to be taken to a hospital.

Odudu, who was ordained priest of the Catholic Diocese of Warri in 1987, had reportedly been in the United Kingdom for years.

He was said to have returned to the country about five months ago when he was abducted.

The deceased was a former Assistant Secretary-General at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria.

The news of the death reportedly threw the Catholic community in Delta into mourning, as worshippers discussed the incident in clusters after mass on Thursday.

A source said, “He was just assigned to the chaplaincy at PTI about two months before his kidnap and untimely death.

“It was a black Wednesday for the Diocese of Warri as Very Rev. Fr. Louis Odudu died on the day the diocese was holding a prayer vigil for one of the deceased priests, Very Rev. Fr. Stephen Ekakabor, who died early this month after battling with a brain injury he sustained when he was attacked by armed robbers. The robbers invaded the priest’s rectory in 2017 at his parish of St. Joseph, Okpare-Olomu, in the Ughelli South Local Government Area.”

The Director of Social Communications, Catholic Diocese of Warri, Rev. Fr. Dr Benedict Ukutegbe, confirmed the demise of the priest.

Banker, security guard shot dead, in Ekiti bank robbery

A bank robbery that occurred in Igede Ekiti, headquarters of Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ekiti State, late on Wednesday, claimed two lives, while others sustained varying degrees of injury.

The incident was confirmed on Thursday by the State Police Command.

Those who died from the incident that occurred at a first generation bank in the town had been identified as a bank official and a private security guard.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, said his men had launched a manhunt for the fleeing robbers.

Ikechukwu added that the command had also deployed more of its men in banks to curtail such incidents in the future.
Ikechukwu, however, did not confirm if the robbers made away with any cash from the bank.

He only confirmed that there was an exchange of gunshots between his men and the bandits.

He said that the attack from the men from the command forced the robbers to flee the scene upon realising that the police were closing in on them.
The guard, who was shot in the head, died within the premises of the bank, while the injured staff died in the hospital.

The PPRO disclosed that the robbers had planned on escaping through Ilawe-Igede road, but later drove into the bush and escaped into the thick forest between the two towns.

He said the expansive forest had already been rounded up by the police and that his men are combing the bush in search of the robbers.

“The robbers would have done more havoc than they did, but for the prompt action taken by our men.

“There was exchange of gunshots between the bandits and our personnel. They tried their best to manage the situation.

“It is true that two persons were killed during the bank operation. It was regrettable and the death of the two persons was painful.

“The command is stepping up its intelligence gathering skill and operation. As a temporary measure, we are going to deploy more men in banks to make the place safe for staff and customers

“If you are on ground in Igede now, more men have been deployed, particularly the mobile police unit. We are doing same across the state.

“As we speak, our Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) and State Intelligence Investigation Department (SIID) have drafted their men for intelligence gathering, while mobile policemen are on road and other critical areas”, he said.
Ikechukwu, however, urged members of the public to go about their normal businesses, assuring that the police are on top of the situation.

Doors and windows of the bank appeared to have been blown off with dynamite, while blood stains of those killed were still visible