A man of God who was kidnapped in Ondo State has been shot to death after the church refused to pay up the ransom of N100M demanded.
A priest with the African Church, Ondo Central Diocese in Ondo State, has been killed by suspected kidnappers following the inability of the church could not raise the N100 million they demanded for his release few days after he was abducted.
Punch gathered that the victim, Rev. David Ayeola, was the chaplain to the Bishop of the African Church and was shot dead in a botched rescue operation after the church declined to pay the ransom and instead, offered N500,000 which the gunmen refused to accept.
It was gathered that Rev. Ayeola was kidnapped when he, the Bishop, Samuel Ojo and his wife were traveling to Abeokuta, Ogun State, from Imojo Ekiti, Ekiti State, and were waylaid by the gunmen on the road.
But while the Bishop, his wife, and the driver of the car managed to escape into the bush, the deceased was not that lucky as he was abducted.
A church source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said:
“While others escaped, the Chaplain was caught and abducted by the gunmen. They later contacted the headquarters of the church at Akure and demanded N100m. The church, however, offered them N500,000, which they turned down.”
An elder of the church who also spoke on the unfortunate incident said the church’s leadership involved the Ekiti State Police Command in the rescue of the priest before the kidnappers got angry and killed him.
He explained that while trying to buy time with negotiation, the police had closed in on the hideout of the abductors and in the attempt to rescue the Priest, the kidnappers over powered the police in a shootout and decided to kill the man of God.
“On Saturday, the police swooped on the hideout of the kidnappers and there was an exchange of gunfire between them.
The police team was overpowered and the kidnappers decided to shoot the priest. He was shot in the side; they [kidnappers] left his corpse behind. The family has taken the body to the morgue,”
The late Rev. Ayeola, it was gathered, was still single at the time of his murder as he had just graduated from the seminary and had plans to get married next year.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, Adeyemi Ademola, who confirmed the death of the Priest, said:
“We received intelligence about where the Reverend was being kept by the kidnappers. The police and some hunters went to rescue him. We discovered that the place was a very thick forest.
When the kidnappers noticed that the police and the hunters were coming, they shot the reverend and escaped.
We went after them for a while, but the team had to turn back when it was getting dark. This was to avoid endangering the lives of members of the team in a terrain that the kidnappers may be more familiar with.
We took the reverend to a general hospital, but sadly, we lost him.”
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