Until his death, Fr Onunkwo, was a priest of the Orlu Catholic Diocese. The deceased had just returned from abroad to organise the funeral rites of his father, Celestine Onunkwo, who died last weekend, only to be kidnapped on Friday at Amaifeke in Orlu town and found dead in Omumma in the Oru East Local Government Area of the state the next day.
Speaking separately on Monday during visits to the Archbishop of Owerri Catholic Archdiocese, Archbish My op Anthony Obinna and the Bishop of Orlu Catholic Diocese, Most Rev Augustine Ukwuoma, Ezike stated that the IGP was saddened by the development and had ordered his command and the IGP Technical Intelligence Unit to apprehend the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
Ezike said: “The Inspector-General of Police is pained by this sad development. He has therefore asked the Technical Intelligence Unit to assist the command in bringing the culprits to book. A post-mortem on the corpse is most desirable because there was no matchet cuts on his body. The crime is very unusual.
His car was not taken away. I have asked my men to bring every hypothesis on the table”. The CP appealed to members of the public to partner with the police to ensure that those who had a hand in the death of the cleric are brought to justice.
Ezike appealed to the public to assist the police in unraveling the circumstances behind the kidnap and death of the priest who just returned to bury his father, stressing that “the Inspector-General of Police is worried and we in Imo State are equally worried. We have swung into action. We are not relenting. God willing we will bring the killers to justice”, the Imo Police boss said.
Archbishop Obinna who said that the incident was devastating, regretted that youths had made crime an occupation. On his part, Bishop Ukwuoma said that the diocese was shocked by the killing which he described as “a brutal murder.”
He said: “We will cooperate with the police in their investigation. The Catholic Church is pained because Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo was a loyal priest.”
The bishop appealed to the government to create job opportunities for the youths, saying that it will reduce social maladies.