Released “unharmed, unbroken”: Official on Two Nigerian Priests Kidnapped from Warri

Fr. Chochos Kunav (right) and Fr. Raphael Ogigba (left), freed by abductors after five days of captivity from the Catholic Diocese of Warri in Nigeria. Credit: Courtesy Photo.

Fr. Chochos Kunav and Fr. Raphael Ogigba, who were abducted on April 29 from the Catholic Diocese of Warri in Nigeria, have been released.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa Friday, May 5, the Delegate Superior of Secular Institute of Schoenstatt Fathers (Schoenstatt Fathers), Fr. Okereke Kingsley Kizito, says, “I am happy to announce to you that God has heard our prayers.”

He adds that Fr. Kunav and Fr. Ogigba were “released unharmed and unbroken last night, Thursday May 4th 2023.”

“We are very grateful to all of you for your concerns and prayers,” Fr. Okereke further says, and goes on to implore, “May God bless and reward you all and may He grant you, especially in the difficult paths of life, a generous measure of His Love and Grace. Amen!”

The statement of the Delegate Superior of Schoenstatt Fathers does not specify if a ransom was paid to secure the release of the two Catholic Priests.


Fr. Kunav and Fr. Ogigba were kidnapped on the night of April 29 at Agbarha-Otor, Ughelli North, Delta State. 

Fr. Kunav, a Schoenstatt member, had traveled to Warri Diocese on April 29 to pay visit to Fr. Ogigba, his friend. 

In an April 30 statement, Fr. Okereke asked for “intense prayers for quick and safe release” of the two Catholic Priests.

Nigeria has been battling with a surge of violence orchestrated by gangs, whose members carry out indiscriminate attacks, kidnapping for ransom, and in some cases, killed.

The West African nation has also been experiencing the Boko Haram insurgency since 2009, a group that allegedly aims at turning Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, into an Islamic country.

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Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.