The “gentle and soft spoken” bursar of the Anglican Diocese of Akure in Nigeria’s Ondo State, Gabriel Abiodun, has been shot and killed by robbers who escaped with ₦500,000 Naira (approximately £1,000 GBP). The incident happened last Thursday (4 April) at 9.30 am WAT (8.30 am GMT). Mr Abiodun had returned to the diocesan offices from the bank, where he had just withdrew the money, when the gunmen struck.
In addition to his role with the diocese, Mr Abiodun was the paymaster of the Ondo state Ministry of Agriculture. Witnesses say that officials and staff member looked on in shock as the gunman attacked Mr Abiodun before fleeing with the cash.
Police in Nigeria are working on the theory that the three attackers followed the bursar from the bank after watching him withdraw the money. They are advising other people in the area to be on their guard.
The lnspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, has said that detectives have a number of leads and expect to make an arrest “in a matter of days”.
Inspector Adamu has asked banks to increase security to prevent people loitering near their premises; and has pledged to increase security around churches.
The Bishop of Akure, Simeon Borokini, had left the diocesan office moments before the attack. Speaking to The Vanguard newspaper, he said: “We are sad. We are concerned that such ungodly and devilish act could be perpetrated in the house of God.”
Bishop Simeon described Mr Abiodun as “a fine gentleman”, adding: “he had been working with the church for about eight years. He was 58 . . . and had four children”.