Gunmen suspected to be hired assassins yesterday morning shot and killed a Catholic Priest and lecturer in the Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo, Rev. Dr. Desmond Osuagwu in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
The priest, who is a member of the congregation of the Claretian Missionaries Eastern Province, Nigeria, was said to be heading to Saint Mark’s Catholic Chaplaincy Obinze Barracks, where he served as a chaplain to conduct the day’s mass service for the men of the Nigerian armed forces.
It was gathered that the assailants waylaid him on the road at a path way before Avu junction along Port Harcourt Road, Owerri, and dragged him out of his SUV vehicle before pumping bullets into his chest which left him dead on the spot.
According to sources, the assailants did not take any money from the priest’s car. Fr. Osuagwu, who hails from Obowo council area of the state, was until his untimely death, the Director of Students Industrial Works Experience Scheme (SIWES) at Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo.
Late Fr. Osuagwu, who celebrated his Silver Jubilee anniversary as a priest last year, was reported to be among the top contestants for the position of superior-general of the Claretian priests slated to hold sometime in 2016. When the management of Imo State Polytechnic was contacted, they confirmed the incident but declined to speak further on the matter because the state police command had already launched an investigation into the incident.
Efforts to reach Imo police command Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Andrew Enwerem (DSP) proved abortive as at press time as his phone line could not be reachable.
– Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri