A combined team of operatives from the Abia State Police Command and the Zone 9 Police Headquarters in Umuahia has arrested one Pastor Prosper Akachukwu for allegedly killing one Pastor Blessed Iwuanyanwu and two of his church members.
The police operatives, led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the state Criminal Investigation Department, Patrick Edung, had on Saturday, October 20, 2018 uncovered the decomposing bodies of Iwuanyanwu; his assistant, Ikeagu Kalu;, and the women leader of his church, Ruth Andrews.
The deceased were pastors at the Wind of Glory International Church, Ohokobe village, within Umuahia, the state capital.
According to the statement made available to The PUNCH on Tuesday by the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Anthony Ogbizi, stated that one Sweeney Andrew reported the sudden disappearance of her mother, Ruth, at the Zone 9 Headquarters on October 16, 2018.
The statement added the complainant alleged that Iwuanyanwu came to their residence at Ehimiri Housing Estate, Umuahia on October 12, 2018 and shortly left with Ruth in his Infinity Sport Utility Vehicle with registration number, RSH 583 HZ, for an unknown place.
The complainant added that when her mother did not come back as expected, she called her two mobile numbers, but they were unreachable.
She added that she was, however, called and told that her mother was murdered with Iwuanyanwu and his assistant pastor; hence the in the zone commenced investigation into the matter.
Ogbizi said the combined team of police operatives from the zone and the state command, acting on a tip off, traced the late Iwuanyanwu’s car to the Ohia Mechanic Village, where the suspect took it to for repairs, and arrested one Chubuike Peter, who was working on the vehicle.
The CP added that while Peter was in custody at the Umuokpara Police Station, Akachukwu traced him there to secure his release on bail and complete the repair of the stolen car and he was consequently arrested by the police.
The police boss added that other accomplices, Ikechukwu Nnadi and Fidelis Akubuokwu, were also arrested in connection with the case.
Other items recovered from the suspects, according to Ogbizi, are three gold plated wrist watches, seven ATM cards of different banks, three plasma television sets, shoes and cloths of different kinds.
Akachukwu confessed to the crime.
The suspect, who said he hails from Mbaise in Imo State, said Iwuanyanwu, from Mbano in the same state, was his childhood friend, adding that they both had their secondary education in the same school and started ministering together as gospel preachers.
Akachukwu claimed that he once operated an evangelistic ministry in Aba, before relocating to Abuja last year.
He said he killed Iwuanyanwu for allegedly abandoning him after helping him to grow his church through diabolic means.
He said, “Iwuanyanwu was my childhood friend and we were also co-pastors. When he was having challenges in growing his church, I took him to a native doctor in Ondo State to get charms to attract members to his church and also perform miracles for them. I also gave him N100,000 to support him during the trip.
“We started the process in the year 2013 and we were going to the shrine to renew the charm every year since that year. But when the charm started working and Iwuanyanwu started making money, he forgot him.
“Whenever I called him for financial assistance, he would tell me not to disturb him, which was why I decided to attack and collect some of his personal belongings.”
Akachukwu added that he hired three assailants from Aba to help him execute his plans.
He stated, “I hired three boys from Aba to attack the pastor. We trailed him to his house when he was going home and laid an ambush around his house to attack him at midnight.
“I was outside when the boys started the operation. They invited me in when they were through with the operation and I entered and found out that they had killed Iwuanyanwu and the two other people in the house.”
The police commissioner stated that the suspects would be charged to court for murder after the arrest of other suspects involved in the crime, who are currently at large.