The abducted Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Paul Irikefe, who was kidnapped by unknown gunmen on Monday in Delta State, has regained freedom from his captors.
Our correspondent gathered that the priest was freed on Wednesday around Benin where he was reportedly taken to by his abductors.
Father Irikefe, a lecturer with Saint’s Peter and Paul Catholic Major Seminary in Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo State, was kidnapped on Monday evening within the Warri/Effurun metropolis.
Irikefe was in Warri to attend the burial of his friend and colleague, Rev. Fr. Amaefule Chike, who was buried on Tuesday at the Agbarho Pastoral Centre, Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state.
A source within the Warri Diocese who confirmed the priest’s release said it was not clear if the church paid the N30m ransom the abductors had earlier demanded.
Our source who called our correspondent on Thursday morning to disclose the news added that the Catholic priest has been reunited with the Bishop of Warri Diocese, Bishop John Okeoghene Afareha.
He is said to have been traumatised as a result of the maltreatment he received from his captors.
Rev. Fr. Benedict Ukutegbe, Acting Administrator, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Catholic Diocese of Warri, confirmed his colleague’s release when contacted by our correspondent.
Ukutegbe also confirmed that the priest was released in Benin, Edo State Capital.