Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, the Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, on Thursday joined calls for the police to apprehend the killers of a 23-year-old lady in Awka Etiti, Idemili South Local Government, Anambra State on July 29.
Miss Francisca Okoli was killed after she resisted attempts by a five-man armed robbery gang to rape her in the presence of her parents.
The archbishop, who addressed reporters in Onitsha, described Franscica’s killing as “a wicked intention”.
He said the church was already investigating the incident, calling on the police to fish out the perpetrators.
Francisca’s father, Mr. George Okoli, told reporters that the gang broke into his home around 4.30am on that fateful day with guns, cutlasses, cudgels and other dangerous weapons.
He said, “My attempts to save my daughter’s life failed when the robbers stabbed me with cutlasses and other weapons and chased me out of the room where I saw them tearing the dress and underwears of my daughter in a bid to rape her.
“In the process, she was beckoning on me and invoking the mercy of God and anybody that could save her even though she posed a strong resistance against their move.
“Angered by her continued resistance, the robbers made good their threat to kill her by hitting her with pestle on the head, neck and waist.
“I could not do anything because they locked us inside one room and one of them was at the door threatening to kill us if we dare open the door.
“The gang searched the whole rooms in the house and stole cash and valuables.
“We waited until about 6.30am after the robbers had left with some of our belonging only to discover that our daughter had been killed with bruises all over her body, her head smashed with clubs suspected to be pestle and cutlasses.”
Rev. Fr. Peter Anene, Manager in-charge of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, Awka-Etiti said he had known Francisca for sometime in the Parish, describing her as “unassuming, hardworking and always at the chapel”.
Francis Cardinal Arinze, the former Prefect, Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, Vatican City, condemned the incident, saying it was “a mindless killing” and “an atrocity meted to a helpless person”.