The allegedly abductors and eventual killers of the 18-year-old Sokoto Catholic Diocesan Seminarian, Michael Nnadi, have been arrested.
Rev Fr Christopher Omotosho, the Director of Communications of the Diocese disclosed the information through the Diocese’s web-site saying the killers were apprehended by the police.
He said: “This is to inform us that the kidnappers & killers of our seminarian Michael Nnadi have been apprehended by the Nigerian Police Force.
“The seminary authority confirmed that the police came in with one of the criminals today, for identification of their entry and exit route to & fro the seminary premises.” He however did not disclose their identities.
Michael Nnadi was murdered late January 2020, after being kidnapped on the night of January 8 alongside three other Seminarians from the Good Shepherd Major Seminary located in Kaduna State, Northwest Nigeria by gunmen camouflaged in military uniform.
All the four were first year philosophy students. The other three, who were subsequently released, were Pius Kanwai, 19; Peter Umenukor, 23; and Stephen Amos, 23.
The Bishop of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah announced the murder of Michael Nnadi.
In his February 1 message, the Bishop stated, “With a very heavy heart, I wish to inform you that our dear son, Michael was murdered by the bandits on a date we cannot confirm.”
Nnadi was an orphan and had been brought up by his grandmother, together with his twin brother.
The 67-year-old Nigerian Prelate had revealed the difficulties of breaking the news of Nnadi’s death to the family saying, “I had to delay this announcement until Mama got back from the market. We have broken the news to her and I will be with her.”
The Facebook post announcing the apprehension of the abductors and killers of Michael Nnadi has generated a variety of comments.
“There is no crime that cannot be investigated in Nigeria as long as phone conversation is involved in the crime. What the govt. needs to do is to create more enabling environment, funds for them to work and not limit the know how to only Abba kyari and his team alone,” Isreal Isreal Oyeniyi has remarked.
Kelvin Odum expressed his skepticism about the arrest. Referencing Nigeria’s primary law enforcement agency, the Nigeria Police Force, Kelvin Odum posted, “But we know the system in Nigeria; the NPF will definitely release them instead of allowing justice to prevail, what a country.”
“Let God enter into people that will handle this case and do his will; no sin should go unpunished; this is my prayer (through) Christ our Lord, Amen,” Gift Ifeanyi Gift commented.
Henry Ike wants the motivation for the murder of Michael Nnadi announced at the end of the probe. “To God be the glory,” Henry posted and added in reference to those arrested, “May they face judgements. May their reasons for taking the life of this harmless lad be also made known to the public.”
In a post aimed at the suspected killer referenced in Fr. Chris Omotosho’s Facebook post, Felix Olaniyi Olaoye reacted, “He should be thoroughly and properly investigated. He should tell us who are their sponsors, what he knows about the killing and kidnapping of priests. Their sponsors are enemies of Catholic Church. They know if they’re are able to silence the Catholic, they’ll be able to destabilize Christianity in Nigeria. But they have failed even before they thought of that.”
Michael Nnadi was one of the victims of increased kidnappings targeting Christians in the West African country, a situation that prompted Church leaders to express serious concern about the security of their members and to call on the government to prioritize the security of its citizens.
During the burial of Michael Nnadi, Bishop Kukah decried insecurity under the watch of Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari and expressed the hope that Michael’s death would become a turning point for Christian persecution in Africa’s most populous nation.
“No one could have imagined that in winning the Presidency, General Buhari would bring nepotism and clannishness into the military and the ancillary Security Agencies, that his government would be marked by supremacist and divisive policies that would push our country to the brink,” Bishop Kukah bemoaned in his homily Tuesday, February 11 during Michael’s burial at Kaduna-based Good Shepherd Major Seminary.
(With agency reports)