Aloysius Ikegwuonu, the alleged South Africa-based drug dealer accused of being the target in the assassination-style murder of 13 persons at a Catholic Church in Anambra State nine days ago, has surfaced in Nigeria.
Bishop, as he is popularly called, returned to the community and visited the victims of the shooting that involved him as the target of the suspects.
Mr. Ikegwuonu appeared seen in Anambra nearly one week and a half after heavily-armed men attacked worshippers at St. Philip Catholic Church Amakwa Ozobulu, in Ekwusigo Local Government Area. State governor Willie Obiano said that intelligence reports linked the attack to a feud between two kingpins in Ozubulu: Mr. Ikegwuonu and one Chinedu Akpunonu (a.k.a Oborocho), both of whom live outside Nigeria.
According to eyewitnesses, upon arrival at the church the gunmen had combed the area in search of Ikegwuonu and when they could not find him, began executing innocent worshippers who knew nothing of the feud between the two men.
In a statement, the Bishop of the Diocese, Hilary Odili Okeke, stated that Cyprian Ikegwuonu, father of Aloysius, died from the brutal attack while his wife, Caroline, is listed among the 22 surviving victims.
Although perceived by most people as a drug dealer based in South Africa, the younger Ikegwuonu is widely-loved and accepted for being a "philanthropist". He is the founder of the non-governmental Ebubechukwu Uzo Foundation Ozubulu, which assists members of his as well as neighboring communities, and has tarred some roads in the area.
SaharaReporters learnt that Ikegwuonu arrived in Nigeria on Saturday and has made statements to the police, giving details of the feud that led to the deadly shooting. A police source said he also revealed the assailants' names and revealed that they had demanded a huge ransom from him in exchange for peace.