By Esther Onyegbula
Detectives investigating recent allegations of abduction against a Lagos based woman, Rosemary Chukwu, were recently jolted when the prime suspect named another pastor as the mastermind of the abduction.
The mother of four who earlier named an Ikorodu based Pastor and General Overseer of Holy Family Ministry, Ernest Chukwuemeka Nwankwo, as the man that instructed her to bring a seven-year-old boy for ritual purposes, reportedly named another Ikorodu- based pastor as the man that actually instructed her to abduct the boy.
Police sources at the State Criminal Investigations Department, SCID, Panti, Yaba intimated Crime Guard that the revelation has actually confirmed the unstable mental state of the woman but stated that the police were poised to get to the root of the matter whether she was mentally stable or not. According to the source, the state police boss, Umaru Manko “directed us to get to the root of the case and deal decisively with whoever is found
culpable no matter how highly or lowly placed and this is what we are doing.”
It was gathered that the directive from the police boss influenced the medical test carried out on the woman. The result showed that the woman was mentally deranged. Briefing newsmen recently on the out come of the report, the command spokeswoman, Ngozi Braide stated: “ Reports that a building owned by the church was a den for ritual killing were all lies.
No victim of kidnap was rescued and no human bone was recovered at the location as reported in some sections of the media. The report that kidnap victims were rescued were all wrong. Family members of the purported kidnapped victims said they brought their relatives to the ministry for healing. We had to clarify as a lot of misinformation had been sent across.”
Presently, detectives are said to have spread their dragnet with a view to arresting the new pastor that was named. However, it was learnt that their efforts were not yielding fruitful results as the pastor seem to have disappeared to an unknown place. All his telephone numbers are also said to have been switched off thus making it extremely difficult for detectives to trace his whereabouts.
Worse still, it was learnt that efforts to also trace the whereabouts of the woman’s children have so far proved abortive. The children were reportedly driven out in an exotic SUV soon after the woman was arrested by an angry mob for abducting a boy.
The suspect reportedly mentioned one Mr. Ekene , a patent chemist shop owner at Ikorodu as one that could possibly be with her children, but the man turned up at the police station and denied her completely. She then gave one fictitious address again at Ikorodu as where her sister resided saying that she could be with her children. The police went there only to be told that no such person resided there. She then gave her husband’s name as one Mr. Henry Chukwu, who has owned up over phone conversation to be with the children but vouched vehemently never to report to the police except his corpse, because, according to him, there’s no way he’ll ever set his foot there.
When Crime Guard visited the church whose pastor was earlier mentioned by the woman at their Ikorodu base, debris of the massive destruction carried out by an angry mob that raided the church were seen littered all over the place. The destruction was so severe that even wires were cut into pieces. A tour of the building did not reveal any hidden tunnel as alleged by the mob that descended on the church and its pastor on the fateful day. Some of the mentally deranged people who were reported to be kidnap victims were also seen in chains with their relatives.
The wife of one of the deranged persons, Madam Rose Onwurah Okeke, who narrated their plight since the ugly incident took place lamented that her dear husband who came for spiritual succour has been abandoned. According to the 48-year-old farmer from Nando in Anambra State; we came to the church in this year to find cure to the depression that afflicted my husband. This started in 1983 and we have gone to many places and spiritual homes for cure without success.
At times, he would recover only to relapse later. His sickness led to the death of his mother and even my own parents suffered while we were searching for his cure until they died too. My husbands name is Onwurah Joseph Okeke. He was a commercial driver. We have four children. One of his uncles, Joseph Atuanya brought us to this church for his treatment.
He said that they cure mentally deranged people. After we came, he surprisingly started recovering from the sickness to the extent that we were looking forward to when to go home. Unfortunately, after the attack by a group of people, the madness came back again because we have not been praying and the shock may have contributed to it.
Since I came here, I have not seen any ritual thing, all we do is to pray 24 hours of the day. We have not paid even a kobo since we came. Rather, they have been feeding and caring for us. We have many mentally deranged people here but some of them were released by the angry mob that invaded this place that day. That day was like hell on earth.
We were in the middle of ministering when a group of people, armed with dangerous weapons broke into the church and started beating and manhandling everybody, both men, women and children. They said a woman had pointed at this place as a den for ritual killing.
They broke into the office of the prophet and descended on him. Some of us rushed to inner rooms to hide but they forced us all out, insisting that we should pay them some money or they would kill us. Some parted with their money but they still subjected them to serious beating. When they saw the mad people that were chained, they broke the chains and forced them out of the compound. They even searched pockets of the mad people to see whether they could get money.
Many people were seriously wounded. They also raped the young girls in our midst. I saw hell.
Neighbours who spoke with Crime Guard also revealed no less resentment over the invasion of the ministry. One of them who simply identified himself as Maurufu said, “We witnessed all the atrocities committed by the angry mob that fateful day. It was as if they were sent by an enemy.
The destruction was unimaginable. Some area boys in this vicinity also joined the mad crowd. I saw them around here but they had disappeared when some police men came here to look for them. We even heard that Some of them started suffering from mysterious ailments and so far, two have died. This is not hearsay, I know their families and I can confirm that fear has gripped all those people that took part in the invasion of the church.”
Another neighbour that also sought anonymity told Crime Guard, “ Some people that stole from the church that day have started returning their loot. They come at the night when nobody can identify them. The biggest puzzle now is the real identity of the woman. We used to see her here but after sometime, she disappeared. Some people said she was in a choir group in one ministry at Ogolonto area of Ikorodu.
Where is this woman from and who are her relatives? Can’t anybody come forward to the police and offer useful information? Why are they all disowning her?, If she is very well known at that other church as a ministering pastor, then let the pastor or their church members come forward with some useful information rather than run away if they are very sure of themselves.