Diocesan treasurer murdered during holdup of church offices

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The bursar of the Church of Nigeria’s diocese of Akure was murdered during a robbery this morning of the diocesan headquarters. Mr. Gabriel Kola Abiodun had returned from the bank to the diocesan offices on Thursday morning after having withdrawn N500,000 from the bank.

Bandits followed him from the bank to the diocesan offices, where they proceeded to open fire, shooting Mr. Abiodun three times. He died immediately.

In a statement issued to the Nigerian media, the Rt. Rev. Simeon Oluwole Borokini noted this was the second time a church official had been robbed after withdrawing money from a bank in recent months, speculating someone at the bank had tipped off the thieves.

Bishop Borokini told reporters the diocese he and Mr. Abiodun “both reported to the office today around 8am. There were some funds that needed to be paid in cash and we don’t want to use cheques in paying. So, he had to visit the bank to cash it.

“It was after cashing out the money that they trailed him from the bank to the office here and he was killed.”

The bishop said Mr. Abiodun was “dutiful and committed to his duty; he was planning to retire next year when these people killed him. Sadly, his death is a big loss to the diocese.”

“We appreciate the response team mostly the security men who came on time but the bandits had already escaped before they arrived. I do hope the security agencies will try their best to track these bandits because it seems they have formed themselves into gang. The security men should intensify efforts in arresting these perpetrators and also make sure their network is effective around the banks because the robbers hang within the bank.”

The bishop noted today’s murder and robbery was similar to a recent incident. “Don’t forget that few months ago, one of our priests went to collect money from the bank and he was trailed to the school and the money was carted away from him. We suspected some of the people who work in these banks and we think there is a form of networking between them. These bank officials should be warned,” he said.