The suspected killers of Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo of the Orlu Catholic Diocese, Imo State, were paraded on Thursday by the state Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike.
Jude Madu, a 32-year old who is a dismissed ex-corporal has allegedly planned and made come true the death of the cleric.
Rev. Cyriacus came about his sudden death when he traveled to his home town to plan the burial of his late father, Celestine Onunkwo.
Other suspects arrested along with Jude were; Izuchukwu Okafor, 28, from Ukwukwa, in Azia, Anambra State; Cyril Onyema, 29, from Okwelle, Imo State; Emmanuel Ozuigbo, 29, from Ezeagu in Enugu State; Victor Ikechukwu, 33, from Obowo in Imo State; and Ifechukwu Nwosu, 28, from Azia, Anambra State.
According to the CP, the operation which led to the arrest of the kidnappers cut across Imo, Anambra and Rivers states.
The boss police revealed that suspects were caught through tracking of the late priest’s telephone, while his wrist watch was also recovered from one of the arrested suspects.
Ezike said, “We used forensic technology and backed it up with hard work, commitment, passion, and hunger for success.
One of the suspect, Onyeoma apparently described how they killed the priest also revealing they never knew he was a Catholic priest.
“We covered the mouth of the priest to stop him from breathing which led to his death.
“We didn’t know he was a priest, it was after we kidnapped him that we knew he was a priest he started shouting he was a priest but we covered his mouth and before we reach our destination he was dead.
“The ex-policeman coordinated the murder. I stopped the car when our victim revealed his identity but he ordered me to move and I had to obey because he was armed.
The ex-policeman, Jude was arrested with the late reverend father’s mobile phone.
The policeman, who has been dismissed, is a member of an armed robbery/kidnapping syndicate and took part in the operation. He was arrested on September 5 in Owerri in possession of the deceased’s phone. He has confessed to the crime.