Monk Shot, Body “thrown in the river” following Kidnapping at a Nigerian Monastery

Credit: Benedictine Monastery, Eruku

Br. Godwin Eze, a Nigerian monk who was kidnapped alongside two others from the Benedictine Monastery, Eruku in Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Ilorin was killed.

In a note shared with ACI Africa on Tuesday, October 24, the Diocesan Administrator of Ilorin, Fr. Anselm Pendo Lawani, says that Br. Godwin, who was kidnapped on October 17 alongside Br. Anthony Eze and Br. Peter Olarewaju had been brutally murdered.

Other sources have explained that the abductors shot Br. Godwin, and “threw his lifeless body in the river”.

Earlier, the Nigerian Catholic Diocese had announced the release of Br. Anthony and Br. Peter who are Postulants at the Benedictine Monastery, and appealed for prayers for Br. Godwin, a Novice at the Catholic institution.

In the October 24 note, Fr. Anselm says, “This is to thank all and sundry for your collective prayers over the past several days for the safe release of our brothers; Bro. Anthony Eze and Bro. Peter Olarewaju. We thank God for answering our prayers.”


“However, we are saddened by the news of the gruesome murder of the third brother, Godwin Eze, in the hands of the kidnappers. May God grant eternal rest to his soul, consolation to his immediate family members and to all of us who are left to mourn his passing,” the official at the Diocese of Ilorin adds.

In an interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Joseph Ekesioba, a former Novice Director at the Benedictine monastery, said that Br. Godwin was shot by Fulani bandits a day after the kidnapping.

“I have been sharing with one of our brothers who was released and he said that Godwin was shot on Wednesday (October 18) at night. The abductors took our three brothers to the bank of a river and shot Brother Godwin. They then threw his lifeless body in the river,” Fr. Joseph said in the Tuesday, October 24 interview.

He added, “After killing Godwin, the kidnappers led brothers Peter and Anthony to the forest where they had been hiding them and continued to threaten them, telling them that they too would be killed. Luckily, the two were set free on Saturday (October 21) evening.”

Fr. Joseph said that the Monastery was organizing a search to retrieve the body of Br. Godwin from the river.

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He told ACI Africa that the Monastery had been forced to implement drastic measures following the October 17 kidnapping.

“We have had to relocate our brothers to a safer place since we continue to receive threats of attacks,” he said.

The Catholic Diocese of Ilorin Serves Kwara State, which is bordered to the East by Kogi State, to the North by Niger State, and to the South by Ekiti, Osun and Oyo States. 

Some of these Nigerian States, including Kogi and Niger continue to witness attacks, reportedly perpetrated by armed Fulani herdsmen and other bandits. 

A report by Intersociety in April indicated that more than 150 people had been slaughtered in Christian parts of Niger State in 100 days alone. 


And that of the 707 Christians that had been abducted in the same period, 200 abductions were carried out in Niger alone.

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.