Bishop Rejects Umahi’s Reward, Demands Murder Charge Against Priest to Be Dropped.

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The Catholic Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese, Rev. Fr. Peter Chukwu, has declined the honorary award of ‘Commander, Ebonyi Hall of Fame (CEHF) which was conferred on him by Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi.

Instead, he asked the governor to bestow the award on his predecessor, Rev. Michael Okoro.

Bishop Chukwu equally appealed to Governor Umahi to drop the murder and sundry charges against Rev. Fr. Timothy Ngwuta.

Governor Umahi had in a letter directed to Rev. Fr. Chukwu on December 12, 2022, informed the Bishop of his selection for the award citing his ‘illustrious service to Ebonyi State and Humanity’ as a reason for the consideration.

In response to the governor through a letter obtained by THISDAY yesterday, Bishop Chukwu expressed surprise at his selection for the award by the state.

According to him, he had barely spent a year in office and was still trying to find his footing, hence the reason he suggested the award should pass on to his predecessor.

The statement read: “I am pleasantly surprised that I was selected for such a prestigious honour by your government. I wish to sincerely thank you for your thoughtful consideration in selecting me for the maiden state of honours award.

“I am grateful to you and your government for deeming me fit for the award. Your Excellency, I wish to respectfully decline this award. I am barely one year in office. I am still struggling to fit into the high demands of the ecclesiastical office of the Bishop.

“So, I feel I have not achieved much to deserve an award. If I may suggest, I would rather wish that this award be bestowed on my predecessor, Most Rev. Michael Nnachi Okoro, for his long and meritorious service to God and humanity.

“Rather than give me an award I would prefer you set in motion, actions that would facilitate the termination of murder and sundry charges against my priest, Rev. Fr. Timothy Ngwuta.

“Accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest esteem and regards as you pilot the affairs of the state. Be assured of my constant prayers for you, your government and the good people of our dear state.”

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