Owerri - The police in Imo have rescued a Catholic priest, a 72-year-old man and the Eze-elect of Umueke village in Owerre Nkworji, Imo, from suspected kidnappers.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Adisa Bolanta, told newsmen in Owerri on Tuesday that the hoodlums kidnapped the Eze- elect, Chief Nelson Orisakwe, after which they went after the parish priest of St Anthony Catholic Parish, Rev. Fr. Faustinus Mbawuike.
Bolanta said the incident spurred the police patrol teams in Orlu/Njaba into action, leading to the location of the hideout of the gang after spotting the abandoned vehicle of one of their victims at Orodo.
He said the suspected kidnappers opened fire on sighting the police, resulting in an exchange of gunfire.
The commissioner said the kidnappers fled, abandoning a member of their gang, Chinedu Osuji, who died from injuries sustained in the gunfight.
He said the victims were held hostage by their abductors in an uncompleted filling station with an underground storage room.
In a related event, the police have recovered 23 AK-47 magazines, 654 AK-47 rounds of ammunition, 16 rounds of Makarov live ammunition and four rounds of berretta pistol live ammunition from suspected robbers in Okuku, Owerri West.
The commissioner said investigation into the case was ongoing.