Catholic Priests John Mark Chietnum who was kidnapped alongside his colleague, Father Donatus Cleopas on July 15 in a church at Yadin Gura village in Kaduna State has been killed by the criminal gangs.
Joseph Hayab, head of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna, told AFP that on Tuesday Cleopas managed to escape from his abductors as they were leading him to a meeting point where they were expecting to receive ransom from a CAN envoy for his release.
“Reverend Father Cleopas, who escaped from his abductors, confirmed to us that his colleague Reverend Father Chietnum was killed on the day they were kidnapped,” Hayab told AFP.
“We were able to recover the body of the late priest, which has substantially decomposed, and we are going to conduct the burial tomorrow,” he said.
Hayab said they negotiated for days with the bandits, who initially demanded 60 million naira (around $145,000) for both priests.
It was “unknown to us (that) one of them had been killed,” said Hayab, adding that they had finally agreed on a “reasonable amount.” He gave no details.
According to Hayab, the escaped priest could not reach his parish in time to inform them not to pay the ransom as he had no phone on him.
“Our dilemma now is that the bandits have detained the man sent to deliver the ransom after taking the money,” Hayab said.
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