Parish Priest in Nigeria Abducted while Answering Sick Call

Fr. Kingsley Eze. Credit: Catholic Diocese of Okigwe

A Catholic Priest in Nigeria’s Catholic Diocese of Okigwe was kidnapped on November 30 while traveling to administer the Sacrament of the Sick to a parishioner.

The Nigerian Catholic Diocese announced on December 1 that Fr. Kingsley Eze was kidnapped at around 8 p.m. and his whereabouts had remained unknown.

In a statement seen by ACI Africa, the Chancellor of Okigwe Diocese, Fr. Princewill Iwuanyanwu, appeals for prayers for the safe release of Fr. Eze, who serves as the Parish Priest of St. Michael's Umuekebi Catholic Church in Nigeria’s Imo State.

“I am directed to inform you that one of our priests, Rev. Fr. Kingsley Eze was kidnapped on the evening of Thursday, November 30, 2023,” Fr. Princewill says, and adds, “He was kidnapped while on his way to administer the Sacrament of the Sick (sick call) on a sick parishioner within his parish.”

In his appeal for solidarity with the kidnapped Nigerian Priest who has served as Parish Priest of St. Michael Parish since 2017, Fr. Princewill continues, “We solicit your fervent prayers that he may come back to us safe and sound.”


Agenzia Fides gathered witness accounts of the kidnapping, indicating that gunmen attacked the Priest, known locally as Father Ichie, along with another person, Uchenna Newman, as they got out of their car at an intersection to do some shopping. 

The bandits are said to have first robbed the street vendors, shooting indiscriminately and wounding a passerby, and then forced the Priest and his companion to follow them.

St. Michael's Parish serves parts of Imo State in Southern Nigeria, which has been the centre of massive attacks that mostly target Christians.

Earlier, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) shared with ACI Africa a report indicating that in 29 Months (Jan 2021-May 2023), security forces and “allied militias” killed 900 unarmed citizens, wounded 700, and arrested 3,500 people, most of them innocent Christians in Imo State.

The report compiled in May also indicates that 1,400 people were extorted, and 300 others forced to disappear.

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Additionally, 1,200 civilian houses were burnt down across the Nigerian State, displacing their 30,000 owners.

The Intersociety report further indicates that attacks across Imo State also forced 500,000 citizens “in active age brackets” to flee from the State and had sought refuge in neighboring urban residences located in Umuahia, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Aba, Enugu, Onitsha, and Nnewi.

In the report, Intersociety was petitioning for the prosecution of over 30 top government officials in Nigeria for killings of Christians in the West African country’s State.

Among those that Intersociety had dragged to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague was Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State,  and other government officials in the Nigerian State, who the research entity has directly linked to the killings and mass displacements of Christians in the State.

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.