The police at Area E, Festac, Lagos, recently made a breakthrough by arresting a 33-year-old man, Kelechi Willaims Mojekwu, for strangulating his 39-year-old lover, Njideka Lizzy Nzewe, to death in her apartment at Green Estate, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos. The arrest of the suspect within seven days of committing the offence was spectacular going by the fact that he eloped to Ghana soon after killing the mother of four.
After his arrest in Cote d’ ivoire, he claimed he committed the heinous act because of jealousy. What was not told was the circumstances that led to his arrest, how detectives battled to achieve that seemingly impossible feat and the type of life the suspect lived, his family background and the circumstances that led to the whole ugly scenario. Our Crime Editor, Emma Nnadozie, dug deeply and was able to unearth startling facts about the murder. His report is revealing.
The relations of the woman came to Festac division to report a case of the murder of their sister, Njideka Lizzy at her residence in Green Estate, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos. The incident happened on July 19, 2014, between the hours of 1am and 3am.
The suspected killer, Kelechukw Williams Mojekwu is about 33, he reportedly strangulated the woman in the early hours of that day and took her jewelries, four handsets, I-Pad, Gold, Trinkets and thousands of dollars and Naira kept by the woman because she was to pack out of that very house on that fateful day to a new apartment in Festac town.
By Thursday, she was supposed to leave for USA on vacation with her family. She has four children and they were in the same building and in their own room when this incident occurred. The young man settled down after killing her, using a rope and a cloth round her neck, packed all her properties, locked the door, picked up her car key, a Range Rover SUV and drove off.
TRIP TO GHANA
He drove confidently with an International passport bearing the woman’s surname that he changed, all for the purpose of making sure that the vehicle was driven into Ghana without any confrontation with law enforcement agencies. He passed through Seme to Benin Republic to Togo to Ghana. When he got into Ghana, he went to a pastor to bless the car and he did and celebrated for having a new car with drinks.
HOW PHONE CALLS EXPOSED SUSPECT
When he was in Ghana, he did not switch off the phones he collected from the woman and when the complaint came to the Area Commander at Area E, Festac, ACP Okoro, he worked on the phones and discovered that they were open.
He made a call, somebody activated the phone but was not talking, invariably, he was listening to the background. He deduced from that and forensic audit that if any criminal suspect had taken away any social media and activated, invariably, the person must be trying to censure what was going on at the end. The police knew that he was trying to get information on what was going on in Lagos.
Equally, detectives got to know from relations of the woman that because of anger, they were sending text messages to him and saying, ‘” you are not picking the phone but you don’t want to talk, God will punish you, you will be caught, we know that you are in Ghana”. That alerted the suspect to know that the family was aware that he was residing in Ghana and because of that, he made a move, packed his things from Ghana and started heading towards Cote d’ ivore.
TRACKING HIS ESCAPE VEHICLE
When the family told detectives that the suspect left with the Jeep, the Area Commander asked them if the Jeep was with any devise and they said that a man used to come to them and he handled the first car, that he must have equally handled the second car.
I requested to see the man, we saw, discussed and he confirmed that there is a devise in the car. The Commander then opened his system and started tracking the vehicle.
He tracked it and discovered that it was in Ghana. From the tracking coordinates, he was able to deduce that the suspect was not settled from the indicators on the tracking, he was spending ten to 15 minutes in areas he visited.
That indicated that he was making moves, and because of that indication that he was spending less than 20 minutes and knowing that he was already having the information, the commander started monitoring the movement of the vehicle and advised that the vehicle should not be stopped because if the vehicle is stopped, he will have a firm idea that the vehicle was under a devise and was being tracked.
The commander continued monitoring the movement of the vehicle on the chat system. He now contracted one of his friends who is a Ghanaian Police officer that is serving at the intelligence unit of the Ghanaian Police, told him what was happening and he said the only way detectives can establish the fact in that area was to make an entry.
The Commander then called the relations of the dead woman and asked if they have anybody in Ghana and they sad yes, they gave him his number, he discussed with him and asked him to meet his police friend there and that was how they incidented the case at the International police office. He gave them the coordinates on the tracking code and they were able to open up and follow up.
That was how they discovered that the suspect was moving towards the border indicating that he was moving into Cote d’ ivoire and eventually into Abidjan. That was how they started going into that area to arrange his arrest. The suspect did not know that he was being monitored and when he got into Cote d’ ivore, he had a little problem with the vehicle tires.
He successfully repaired the tires and decided to continue with the journey. He was all alone in the car and was confidently moving it to his destination.
He was then trapped by the information given to Cote d’ivoire border patrol police whom the Ghanaian officer related with. They accosted him and he was arrested and taken to Cote d’ivoire Interpol office.
CONTACT WITH DETECTIVES IN NIGERIA
They contacted detectives in Nigeria immediately, the Area Commander informed the Commissioner of Police, Lagos, Umaru Manko who directed him to follow up with Nigerian Interpol which he did immediately by contacting them on phone before following up with a letter.
The DCP in-charge of Interpol, Nwobodo quickly made a call to Abidjan and put them on notice that the suspect they arrested is wanted and on our trial. They now said detectives from Nigeria should come over the next day.
TRIP TO COTE D’IVOIRE
The problem Nigerian detectives had was that Francophone and Anglophone legal systems differ to some extent. The francophone legal system arraigns suspects immediately after arrests. They don’t detain as long as the Anglophone countries do here in Africa. They didn’t want to keep a suspect for long in Abidjan and for them to hand over to Ghana where the case was incidented they insisted the case must pass through Interpol. And because of that contact made in Ghana earlier, they were able to detain the suspect.
As soon as detectives in Nigeria got that information, they got in touch with Ghana Interpol and flew in four detectives into Abidjan the next morning. They moved straight to their Interpol office and after the processes, the man was handed over to them. The suspect was intercepted at a junction called Abuasso in Cote d’ivoire. They eventually handed over to Ghanaian Interpol who moved him into their own area being that the case was incidented there.
From there, officers from Nigeria proceeded to court in Ghana to endorse a warrant which they did. After that, they searched and recovered some of the properties of the woman in the suspect’s house in Ghana. Thereafter, the Ghanain interpol handed the suspect over to their counterparts from Nigeria and they came back by road.
From investigation, detectives discovered that the suspect was staying in South Africa where reliable information alleged that he equally murdered somebody and decided to flee. That was what made him to be hibernating in Ghana. Further more, they discovered that his eldest brother was killed for armed robbery in Anambra.
The immediate senior brother was equally killed about two months ago after he got himself involved in a case of kidnapping and the victim was killed after collecting some ransom. Detectives therefore, deduced from this information that it runs in their blood and this is a family of killers.
They were equally reliably informed that the death of their father was celebrated in their village because he was alleged to be a notoriously cannibalistic person, a terror who was capable of eating fresh chickens alive after sucking their blood. That must account for a young man of 33, seeing such a huge lady with four children, brought her down and strangulated her up to the point of death.
Detectives are equally suspecting that he must have used drug to subdue the lady before strangulating her to death because looking at the lady, you cannot imagine how he was able to bring her down before killing her. Further more, they suspect a pre-meditated action because of the issue of changing her passport to his own name. It shows he was all prepared prior to the time he was able to execute his action.
This was a lady that was well known and she made a mark at Edmark by winning the highest prize of N37 million for her efforts in selling the product. She has a very big edifice in Satellite town, She owns exotic SUVs, She has two edifices at her hometown, Nnewi., Anambra State. She was a successful business woman and the killer is from neighboring Umuoji also in Anambra State.
DIVORCE WITH HUSBAND
Police handled a case between her and the husband over issues concerning marital problems sometime ago. They have a subsisting divorce issue in court. Divorce had not been granted. They were still undergoing the process.
HOW THE CASE WAS CRACKED
It took detectives about seven days to crack this case. They were able to accomplish this by having sleepless nights and working on the system because this was completely a forensic investigation and it had to do with tracking. So for you to crack such case, you should be able to know what is tracking and its coordinate’s, getting to know the coordinating signals coming from the tracking device and the indicators. That was how they were able to ascertain where he was at a given time before apprehending him.
They achieved this through personal efforts in terms of logistics because the Area Commander is a forensic analyst and in forensic investigation which he mastered when he was in Bosnia and Herzegovina where he was trained in human rights investigation and establishment of coordinates.
He equally did administration engineering in forensic analysis. This probably accounted for the success of this case. The Commander was interacting with the team sent to Ghana every 20 minutes and made more than sixty- five calls altogether in getting this case cracked.
ABOUT THE SUSPECT
The suspect told his life story: “My name is Kenechukwu William Mojekwu from Aguma village, Umuoji, Idemili North LGA, Anambra State. I was born in Umuoji in 1983 and went to primary school at Aguma Primary School in Umoji. I spent two years there before going to Aba where my senior sister was living and got into Good Shepherd primary Schooll in Uratta, Abia State.
I finished there, came back to Anambra and started my secondary eduction at Our Ladys Secondary School, Nkpor. After that, I went to Nnewi to start apprenticeship on electrical sales.
After five years, I was freed and I opened my own shop there. I did it for six months before a friend who came back from South Africa encouraged me to seek papers and travel out for greener pastures. I came over to Lagos and was able to get my papers after which I traveled to South Africa in 2005. When I got to South Africa, before I could get engaged in any meaningful venture, the person I was staying in his house had a problem and when the police came for him, he disappeared and I was arrested together with one other friend staying there.
That was how we were deported to Nigeria after two months. We were not told what he did. After coming back to Nigeria, I later traveled to Abidjan, after six months I got there, I went into the sale of second hand clothes. I was coming to Ghana to buy clothes until war broke out in Abidjan and I shifted base to Ghana.
After the war, I went back to Abidjan but could not get a place to stay, I lost a lot and that made me relocate finally to Ghana where I started loading and offloading goods including selling second-hand clothes. I was homeless and was sleeping in the church until I was able to save enough money to come back home and raised more money from members of my family. I then started taking goods from Nigeria to Ghana for sale.
HOW THEY MET
I got to know Lizzy during this period. I met her the first time at Hotel de Horses in Ghana, where she came to buy shoes. We met one day when I heard her speaking Igbo with some friends and we all exchanged pleasantries. We did not see again until February this year after I returned to Nigeria to see my mother. I went to Nnewi to see my sister whose husband died. I was going to eat when I saw her waiting for commercial motorcyclist, her face was familiar because she had changed a lot.
I stopped and greeted her after which I reminded her where we met and she was happy seeing me. We exchanged numbers after greeting and that evening, she called me to know where I was and I told her the name of the hotel, she came and stayed with me and later went back to their place that night. The next day. I visited her in her hotel and that was how we started serious relationship. She told me from day one that she was married but divorced. She also told me that she divorced because her husband impregnated their maid after all the sacrifices she made to make life comfortable for both of them.
Initially, I wanted to know if she had children but she told me to forget that aspect then, that I would know at the right time. It was only when I visited her house in Lagos later that I met her children. I used to visit her each time I came from Ghana and she stayed in my house any time she came to Ghana. She visited me in my village during one of those trips to Nigeria.
HER TRIPS TO GHANA
She usually spent one or two weeks in my house in Ghana and all my friends knew her as my wife. We never discussed marriage but she used to send messages saying that I was the man of her dream. Even her relations have been telling me to get interested in marrying her because she would take very good care of me, that a lot of people have disappointed her after she helped them.
I must say that while the relationship lasted, I noticed that she was very rich. It became open to me the day she visited my village with an exotic SUV. Initially, I taught she was into drugs but later I found out that she worked hard for her money through business ventures.
In fact, she was secretive over her business interests to me. The much I got to know was through her brother who was putting pressure on me to marry her. He kept on advising me not to break her heart because a lot of people had broken her heart in the past, that I should try to be a better husband than her former husband. She even encouraged me to expand my sales to Nigeria and went to the extent of opening a shop for me at Festac where I sell shoes bought from Ghana.
She wanted to settle down in Ghana but I advised her to rather re-locate to America, that it will be better for her children. She was the one that invited me to Nigeria during this trip that resulted in her death.
WE are eight in a family, three boys and five girls. All the male issues had died except me. The first issue died when I was very small, I don’t know what killed him. The second died after my family quarreled with one native doctor over land dispute in my village. People believe the native doctor killed that my brother. Whatever they say about my father should be attributed to the olden days when men used to show power. None of my brothers was killed in Enugu over robbery or kidnapping.
The rest of my sisters are happily married. Members of my family wanted me to marry one girl from our village but I did not love her. I impregnated a girl from Cote d’ivoire but we quarreled over my relationship with Lizzy after she found out about us. I swear, I did not kill her deliberately.
After she came back drunk, because I must tell you, she likes drinks, she was hostile to me when I wanted to know why she stayed out long. She held my manhood and I tightened the wrapper over her neck. She quickly released me but slumped. I examined her and noticed that she was dead. Perhaps, she died because she was dead drunk. The shock made me to flee. I was restless throughout my stay in Ghana after that.
That was why I decided to flee to Cote d’ ivoire to stay with that my girlfriend. I know I have done an abominable thing but I plead for mercy. I am the only son of my mother and she would die if she hears this (sobs…) This is the work of devil.