Worshippers at St Dominic’s Catholic Church, Adazi Enu, Anaocha Local
Government Area of Anambra State were shocked on Friday when a US-based
Catholic priest, Rev. Father Mike Steve Ezeatu, descended on a
70-year-old man and beat him blue black.
Southern City News that the priest had finished celebrating a funeral
mass and was about entering his SUV when he sighted the old man
identified as Innocent Nwolisa and beckoned on him to come closer.
the call, Nwolisa approached the cleric, who descended on him, accusing
the old man of charming him while he was celebrating mass on the
Narrating the story, the first son of the victim, Ebuka
Nwolisa, said his father was about to leave the compound of Ifedigbo in
Ugweni Ojii, where the funeral mass of one late Ifeoma Ifedigbo, had
just been celebrated by Ezeatu, when he was called back by the priest
think my father went because we are related to the priest and they know
each other. My father thought the priest might be calling him to give
him special blessing, but what he got was a beating.
saving grace he (reverend father) had was that I was not around; that
was why he got way with his action,” an angry Ebuka explained.
eyewitness, Mr. Arinze Ezeatu, who is a younger brother of the priest
said, “Father Mike complained that the old man was releasing evil powers
on him while he was at the altar celebrating the mass, and that was the
reason for his action.
Arinze and Olisa Ezeatu, both younger and
elder brothers of the priest, maintained that it was not true that
Nwolisa was releasing evil powers on him, but that the reverend father
was suspecting that the old man may have supported his brothers, whom
the priest has for long been at loggerheads with over land.
to them, “The priest is our brother, but he is more like a curse to us
than a blessing. He is based in the US, and can be described as a
businessman than a clergy. Because he has money, he has grabbed all our
land and we have been in dispute with him.
“We have even reported
him to the Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Reverend Paulinus Ezeokafor,
yet he has not let go. The man he beat up is an elder in our extended
family, and he has been advising the priest to relinquish the land to us
and even settle our rift.
“We think he simply suspected that the
man has started siding us after knowing the truth. That is why he beat
him up on Friday after celebrating mass.”
Meanwhile, Ebuka the
first son of the victim, who led his younger brother to the resident
Parish priest of St Dominic’s parish to complain about the incident,
told Southern City News that his father was recovering.
Southern City News contacted Mr. Abuchi Onwumelu, the Press Secretary to
the Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev, Paulinus Ezeokafor, he (Onwumelu)