Armed ViolenceNews

Owo Killings: Ondo Police Keep Mum On Number Of Casualties

The police said a forensic investigation into the attack has begun to ascertain the actual or remote cause(s) of the attack and for immediate arrest of the assailants.

Police in Ondo State says they have ordered a forensic investigation into the terrorist attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street, in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State, Southwest Nigeria, on Sunday, June 5.

Odunlami Funmilayo, the police spokesperson in the state, said the Police Commissioner ordered the investigations to ascertain the actual or remote cause(s) of the attack and for immediate arrest of the assailants.

Funmilayo said in a statement that all hands were on deck to forestall any similar attack in any part of the state.

She said preliminary investigation revealed that the assailants approached the church during the service and started shooting from outside the church while others were fired directly into the church, numbering about four.

The police spokesperson did not mention the number of people that died or were injured during the attack.

Funmilayo said police authorities had ordered immediate deployment of armed and specialised police officers to the area to restore normalcy and fortify the entire community. 

Back story

HumAngle earlier reported that terrorists killed a yet to be ascertained number of persons during a morning mass Sunday, June 5. 

Several videos on social media showed victims lying on the church floor in a pool of their blood.

Many others sustained severe injuries and are currently receiving treatment at Federal Medical Centre in Owo. 

The Catholic Diocese of Ondo said in an earlier reaction by HumAngle that the identity of the perpetrators remains unknown, adding that the incident has left the community devasted.

Also, Rotimi Akeredolu, the Governor of Ondo State who had visited the scene of the incident, said he was sad about the unprovoked attack and killing of innocent people.

CAN speaks 

Meanwhile, the Ondo Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has described the killings as barbaric and wicked.

Anselm Ologunwa, the chairman of CAN in the state, in a statement on Sunday in Akure, said, “nowhere is safe in Nigeria with the recent kidnapping of Prelate of the Methodist Church and two others on the road, the train attack and on the air and now is inside the church of God.”

The CAN Chairman added that the day was the feast of the Pentecost Sunday in the history of the Catholic Church, assuring the people that the Holy Spirit of God would fight for those killed in the incident.

He, however, called on “security agencies to, as a matter of urgency, go after the perpetrators of the heinous act and bring them to justice.”

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Adejumo Kabir

Kabir works at HumAngle as the Editor of Southern Operations. He is interested in community development reporting, human rights, social justice, and press freedom. He was a finalist in the student category of the African Fact-checking Award in 2018, a 2019 recipient of the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence, and a 2020 recipient of the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award. He was also nominated in the journalism category of The Future Awards Africa in 2020. He has been selected for various fellowships, including the 2020 Civic Media Lab Criminal Justice Reporting Fellowship and 2022 International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) 'In The Name of Religion' Fellowship.

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