Gunmen stormed St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra in the early hours of Sunday.
According to an eyewitness report, the gunmen went into the church during the 5:45 am Mass and identified a particular man and shot him.
He said that the gunmen later went on rampage and shot at the remaining worshippers numbering over 100.
Scores of people were killed in the church while other critically injured worshippers died on the way to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi.
The source, however, said the priest of the church was not wounded in the incident.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Garba Umar, confirmed the incidence, stating that the gunman killed eight worshippers and injured 18 others in the early morning attack.
Umar said the remains of the dead had been deposited at Nnamdi Azikwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi. He also said the injured were taken to the hospital.
He said that preliminary investigations by the police revealed that the attack was carried out by a native of the area.
“From our findings, it is very clear that the person who carried the attack must be an indigene of the area.
“We gathered that worshippers for 6 o’clock Sunday mass at St. Philip Ozobulu were in the service when a gunman dressed in black attire covering his face with a cap entered the church and moved straight to a particular direction and opened fire.
“The man after shooting at his targeted victims still went on a shooting spree, killing and wounding other worshippers,’’ he said.
The commissioner said information available to police showed that the attacker was speaking undiluted Igbo Language at the time he was firing at worshippers.
Umar said though no arrest had been made, the police already learnt that the attack followed a quarrel between two natives of Ozubulu residing overseas.
Describing the act as sacrilegious, the commissioner of police said it was wrong for the perpetrators of the act to extend their quarrel into the church.
He added, “Such conduct shows the people behind the act do not fear God.’’
He said the police had launched a manhunt on those behind the act and gave an assurance that everybody behind the unfortunate incident would be brought to justice.
Umar described any insinuation that the attack was carried out by Boko Haram elements as false and urged the people to go about their normal businesses.
He said the police are on top of the situation.