The crisis rocking Ahiazu Mbaise Catholic dioceses in Imo State at the weekend took a dramatic twist with the Imo State Police Command arresting four priests and eight others.
Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Andrew Enwerem made the disclosure in a press statement in Owerri.
Enwerem said the arrests became necessary following an assault on the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ahiazu Mbaise Police Station, Danjuma Ragga, a Superintendent of Police on Saturday, at the Catholic Cathedral, Ahiazu Mbaise.
According to him, the Vicar General, Rev. Fr. Clement Ebi had played host to the National President of the Catholic Women Organisation, on Saturday at the St. Roses Catholic Church in Ezinihitte Mbaise Council Area, but some youths forcefully stopped the meeting.
DSP Enwerem said: “The youths set up bonfires, barricaded the highway and disrupted the peace of the town. The youths led by Rev. Fr. John Ogoekwe of Christ the King Church, Uvuru Aboh Mbaise defied the appeal of the DPO as they started hauling missiles on the police, threatening to burn down a police vehicle and disarm police officers involved in the operation”.
The Police spokesman alleged that the youths fired gunshots from inside the Catholic Cathedral which hit DPO Danjuma on both legs and hands, adding that he is recuperating in the hospital.