BENIN CITY- Operatives of Edo State Police Command have neutralised three suspected kidnappers during a successful rescue operation of an Italian catholic priest abducted in the state, last Sunday.
Police identified the rescued cleric as Rev. Fr Luigi Brena, 64, an Italian of Somascan Father’s Community was kidnapped by hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers, along Ogunwenyi through Usen community in Ovia South West Local government area of Edo state on Sunday, July 3, 2022.
The Deputy Public Relations Officer for Edo State Police Command ASP Jennifer U. Iwegbu stated this in a statement made available to journalists through the command’s official WhatsApp platform, today.
“Operatives of the Edo state police command attached to Iguobazuwa Division on the 03/07/2022 at about 1745hrs received information that Rev. Fr. Luigi Brena ‘M’ 64yrs, an Italian of Somascan Father’s community was kidnapped by hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers, along Ogunwenyi through Usen community in Ovia South West Local government area of Edo state.
“On reciept of the information, the police Operatives immediately swung into action and trailed the suspected kidnappers to their camp.
“The Suspects on sighting the operatives opened fire on them, the superior fire power of the police operatives neutralized 3 of the kidnappers while the rest escaped into the forest with various degrees of gun shot injuries abandoning their victim”. She stated.
ASP Iwegbu noted further that Rev. Fr. Luigi Brena was thereafter taken to hospital for medical attention while bush combing for the fleeing suspected kidnappers was intensified.
The police assured residents of the state of adequate security and solicited for enhanced synergy towards fighting crime and criminality in Edo State.
The rescue of Rev. Fr. Luigi Brena came amid recent incessant abduction of catholic priests in Edo State.
It will be recalled that last Saturday, Rev. Fr. Udo Peter of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Uromi, and Rev. Fr. Philemon Oboh of St. Joseph Retreat Centre, Ugboha in Esan South East local government area of Edo State, were reportedly kidnapped by yet-to-be identified gunmen.
The duo were abducted around Ehor and Iruekpen Communities along the Benin-Auchi Expressway.
The two abducted clergymen are yet to regain freedom at press time, today, Monday, July 4, 2022.
Also, on Sunday June 26, 2022 gunmen abducted and murdered Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia of St. Michael Catholic church, lkhabigbo, Etsako West local government area of Edo state.
Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia was in his rectory about to go out to officiate mass that fateful Sunday, when the gunmen struck.