Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The Holy Father Benedict XVI on December 7, 2012, appointed Rev. Peter Ebere Okpaleke of the clergy of Awka, Judge of the Inter-Diocesan Tribunal of the Ecclesiastical Province in Onitsha as Bishop of the Diocese of Ahiara (Nigeria).
The new Bishop was born on March 1, 1963, in Amesi, "Aguata Local Government Area", in Anambra State. After attending local schools, in 1983 he joined the Bigard Memorial Major Seminary, in Ikot-Ekpene and Enugu, where he held courses in Philosophy and Theology (1983-1992). He was ordained a priest on August 22, 1992 and incardinated in the Diocese of Awka. After ordination he held the following positions: 1992 - 1995: Deputy Secretary of the Bishop and the Bishop's residence Attorney; 1993 - 1995: Member of the Aguata Local Goverment Education; 1995 - 1997: Higher education at CIWA, Port Harcourt, 1997 - 1999: Chaplain at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and Chief Financial Officer of the Diocese; 1999 - 2002: Studies in Canon Law in Rome, at the Holy Cross University; 2002-2011: Chancellor of the Diocese of Awka, Secretary of the Diocesan Pastoral Council, Secretary of the Council of Priests and the College of Deans, Diocesan Examiner since 1995: Member of the Canon Law Society of Nigeria; since 2002: Member of the Board of Consultants; since 2005: Member of the Committee for the creation of the Diocese; since 2007: Judge at Inter-diocesan Tribunal of Onitsha; since 2011: Pastor of Sts. John and Paul Parish, Umubele, Awka. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 07/12/2012)