Tragedy struck in Nkwerre in the Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State on Monday night after gunmen murdered a Catholic priest and made away with his vehicle.
The gunmen equally murdered a young man whose identity could not be ascertained immediately.
The man was said to be with the priest in his vehicle when the criminals struck, Punch reports.
Rev Fr. Jude Egbuom, who hailed from Umuwala, a village in Nkwerre Community, until his death was in charge of St Patrick’s Catholic Parish, Amucha, in the Njaba LGA of the state.
According to Punch, he was attacked around 8pm when he went to a barber’s shop on Anara-Nkwerre Road in Nkwerre town.
He reportedly resisted giving the car keys to his killers, which angered them.
The cleric was immediately shot together with the other victim in his vehicle ,while the criminals fled.
The newspaper quotes a villager as saying: “The circumstances surrounding the killing of the priest indicated that it was a case of armed robbery.
“It could not have been a case of assassination, who did the gentle priest offend? He was from our community, Nkwerre and was doing his missionary work at Njaba, a nearby LGA. ”
When contacted, the police spokesperson, Andrew Enwerem, confirmed the killings and said that the police commissioner, Dasuki Galadanchi, had deployed the Tactical Unit of the command in the area.
The police spokesperson said, “The incident is confirmed. Rev Fr.Jude Egbuom of St Patrick’s Catholic parish Amucha was murdered last night.
“Another person whose identity had yet to be known was also killed by the hoodlums. The priest was in his priestly regalia when they shot him dead.