A source said the priest was flown abroad to cover traces. He said the said lover died in the inferno while the Reverend Father sustained high degree of burnt.
The source told Punch: “Your inquiry isn’t exactly false. His (Reverend Father’s) relative is a friend and he did not say anything different from your proposed report.”
It was said that the priest (names withheld) was relaxing in a one-room apartment of the alleged girlfriend (who was a student of a university in the state) on the fateful day when the incident occurred.
“The girl died on the spot, but the priest was hurriedly smuggled away and we now hear that they have flown him abroad, apparently to cover traces. Are there no hospitals in Nigeria?
“I have told them to stop covering this story. What do they want to achieve by hiding this story? The truth should be said and shame the devil,” the source maintained.
But another source, who would not want to be named, told Punch that “the priest was involved in the gas fire accident trying to save a life. All these side talks are not unnecessary.”
When Abuchi Onwumelu, the Press Secretary to Bishop of the Diocese, Most Reverend Paulinus Ezeokafor, was contacted on the telephone for reaction, he said he had heard about the gas fire incident involving a Reverend Father, but had no full facts of the story.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ali Okechukwu, said the matter had not been reported.