A Catholic priest was kidnapped and murdered last week in northern Nigeria by a group of unidentified armed men who first asked for ransom money from the priest’s diocese before killing him.
Fr. John Gbakaan, the parish priest of the Saint Anthony Church in Gulu, in the diocese of Minna was found dead on Jan. 17 alongside the road from Lambata to Lapai in the state of Niger, according to the Catholic missions website fides.org.
Gbakaan, his brother, and another priest had gone to visit his mother in a neighboring state. The trio was ambushed and abducted by armed assailants on Jan. 15 during their return trip. At first, the kidnappers asked for a little more than $78,000 in ransom and later reduced the amount to a little more than $13,000.
Gbakaan’s body was found on Jan. 17 near the site of the kidnapping. Fides.org reported that the priest had been allegedly murdered with a machete in such a way that made identification of the body difficult. Gbakaan’s vehicle was also found near the site of the killing.
There has been no further information on Gbakaan’s brother and it’s assumed he’s still being held by the kidnappers.
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