Gunmen suspected to be bandits have abducted and killed Alphonsus Bello, a Catholic priest, in Katsina State.
He was abducted alongside another priest, Joe Keke, on Thursday night when the gunmen invaded St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in the Malunfashi area of the state.
This was disclosed by Gambo Isah, the Public Relations Officer of the Katsina Police Command, on Friday.
According to Isah, Bello’s dead body was later found on Friday morning while the whereabouts of Keke remains unknown.
The Katsina PPRO said Bello was not shot as reported but may have died as a result of asphyxiation.
“Actually yesterday night these bandits in their numbers armed with AK47 rifles got their way into the Catholic Church Mission in Malunfashi and abducted the two priests — a 40-year-old and another 70-year-old retired reverend,” Isah told TheCable.
“The man was not shot. We trailed the bandits and along the road, we discovered the corpse of this Alphonsus.
“We evacuated it to the general hospital and the doctors examined the body, there was no gunshot. We are thinking that maybe he died as a result of asphyxiation or other circumstances.”
Isah disclosed that the police have arrested two persons for complicity in the abduction.
He said: “We have arrested two persons for complicity in the abduction because they were the people that took the bandits to the residence of these reverend fathers.
“These bandits had to break into the houses because it was under lock. They wouldn’t have gone there, even if they had gone, they wouldn’t have known where the reverend fathers are staying. It was these two people that took the hoodlums into the premises of these reverend fathers.”
The Katsina police spokesperson said the command is investigating the circumstances surrounding the abduction, adding that the culprits will be made to face justice.