Benin Catholic church confirms killing of priest by gunmen

The Catholic Archdiocese of Benin has confirmed the killing of one of its priests, Reverend Father Charles Igechi, by some unknown gunmen on Thursday.

Reverend Father Igechi, NAIJAONPOINT.COM.NG gathered, was allegedly shot by the gunmen on Wednesday at Ikhueniro axis along Agbor Road Bypass area l of Benin, on his way to his place of assignment.

A Reverend father within the Benin Archdiocese of the church, who first confirmed the killing, but craved anonymity because he was not authorised to speak for the church, said that the body of the deceased priest was found by the Agbor Road Bypass.

“it is true, he was killed. Nobody was with him when he was killed by gunmen, you would see how bullets entered his body. His body was found in Bypass”, the clergyman disclosed

While the Edo State Police Command spokesperson, Chidi Nwanbuzor, could not be reached for his reaction.

The Archbishop of the Benin Catholic Diocese, Augustine Akubeze, said that the issue had been reported to the police and expressed hope that justice would be served on the perpetrators of the illegal act.

Akubeze, in a condolence statement issued on Thursday, said the priest, who was ordained in August 2022, was shot on his back on his way to his place of assignment and his remains were found by Boundary Street in Ikpoba Hill, Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area, Edo State.

“With deep sadness and sorrow in our hearts, we wish to inform you of the death of one of our priests in the Archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Charles Onomhoale Igechi, who was ordained on the 13 of August 2022 and who until his death was the Vice Principal of St. Michael College, Ikhueniro.

“With great shock, we received the news this morning that he was shot on his way back to his place of assignment, on the 7th of June, 2023 and his remains were found by Boundary Street in Ikpoba Hill, Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area, Edo State.

“We therefore wish to solicit for your prayers for the happy repose of his soul. I kindly wish to use this medium to inform all priests that there shall be a Mass for the peaceful repose of Rev. Fr. Charlies Onomhoale Igechi, tomorrow June 9, 2023, at the Bishop Kelly Pastoral Centre’s Chapel at 10:00 am.

“I entrust you all to the maternal intercession of our Lady of Sorrow. May God continue to guide and protect all the faithful in the Archdiocese of Benin City and may the soul of Rev. Fr. Charles Igechi find peace and tranquillity in the loving embrace of our risen Saviour. Amen.”