Conflicting reports had emerged describing the fate of Fr. Bako, with some sources saying that the Priest who was of ill health had been tortured to death in captivity.
Fr. Emmanuel Anyanwu, the Assistant Parish Priest of St. John’s Catholic Parish had spoken to Catholic Pontifical and charity foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) United Kingdom, saying that Fr. Bako “suffered greatly before his death.”
“He (Fr. Bako) was tortured because they were forcing him to pay a huge amount of ransom for his release. In this case, there was physical torture and beatings which caused him huge amounts of pain and agony,” Fr. Anyanwu said in the April 29 ACN United Kingdom report.
He added in reference to Fr. Bako, “Because of his fragile health challenges, he couldn’t survive the torture.”
In a May 4 interview with ACI Africa, however, the Deputy Director of Media Service Centre in the Archdiocese of Kaduna, said that he had not received any update on the situation of the missing Priest.
“(There is) no official statement from the Archdiocese in that regard,” Fr. Anthony Shawuya said.
Fr. Shawuya added, in reference to the efforts of the Archdiocese of Kaduna to secure the release of Fr. Bako, “There were negotiations and efforts for his release but no news as to what has happened to him.”
In an interview with ACI Africa shortly after the kidnapping of Fr. Bako, a Catholic Priest who preferred to stay anonymous provided details of the kidnapping that had, at that point, not been confirmed by the Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna.
“Fr. Joseph Akete was abducted with his younger brother who visited him. The kidnapping happened around 1:30 a.m. Sadly, his security guard was killed,” the Catholic Priest told ACI Africa during the March 8 interview.
Fr. Anyanwu told ACN United Kingdom that the body of Fr. Bako “has not been released yet by the bandits.”