The priest was one of the two Catholic priests kidnapped in Kaduna on July 15, Rev. Father John Mark Cheitnum, has been found dead.
Both Fr. John Mark and Rev. Fr Donatus Cleopa were kidnapped on the same day at Christ the King’s Catholic Church, in Lere Local Government Area, of the state on Friday, July 15, 2022.
The death body of Fr John Mark was found by security operatives at a farm in a nearby village on Tuesday, July 19.
Chancellor of Kafanchan Catholic Diocese, Reverend Father Emmanuel Okolo confirmed the development in a statement on Tuesday 19 of July in Kaduna.
He said Rev. Donatus Cleopas escaped from his abductors while Fr. John Mark was brutally murdered.
“Sequel to the announcement of the two kidnapped priests from our diocese, we wish to announce that Rev. Fr. Donatus Cleophas escaped from his abductors and has reunited with us,” the statement read.
“However, it is with a deep sense of sorrow and pains that the Bishop, Clergy, Religious and Laity of the Diocese of Kafanchan announce the gruesome murder of Very Rev. Fr. John Mark Cheitnum.
“Fr. John Mark who was abducted from the rectory of Christ the King Parish Yadin Garu, Lere LGA of Kaduna State, was brutally killed by his abductors on the same day of his abduction, Friday 15th July, 2022.
“His corpse was later discovered already decomposing on Tuesday, 19th July, 2022.
“Until his demise, he was the CAN Chairman, Jama’a LGA, as well as the Coordinating Chairman of CAN, Southern Kaduna.
“Fr. was the Dean of Kwoi Deanery, Director of Communications in the Diocese of Kafanchan and the Pastor of St. Hames Parish Fori, Jama’a LGA, Kaduna State.
“Burial is slated for Thursday, 21st July 2022 at the Catheral of St. Peter Kafanchan, Kaduna State. Time:10am.
“As we solicit for prayers for the repose of our dear brother Priest and God’s consolation on his immediate family, we wish to humbly call on all and sundry to refarin from taking the laws into their hands.
“The Diocese has decelared a two-day mourning for peaceful repose of his soul and may his soul and the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen,” the statement added.