A self-acclaimed evangelist, Prosper Peter, on Tuesday said he plotted the killing of his friend, Kelechi Iwuanyanwu, a pastor in a new generation church in Umuahia, for many decades.
Mr Peter, who was arrested by the Police in Abia State in conjunction with Zone 9 Command, told journalists at the Police Officers’ Mess, Umuahia, that his grouse was that the deceased refused to assist him financially.
He said he recruited three persons that murdered Mr Iwuanyanwu, his alleged mistress and Woman Leader in the church, Ruth Eze and Kalu Ikeagwu, the assistant pastor.
Mr Iwuanyanwu, who was the founder of Winds of Glory Ministry, Umuahia, was murdered along with the two others at his residence, located at Umuobia Housing Estate in the early hours of October 14.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Anthony Ogbizi, who briefed journalists on the incident, said Peter was arrested through the combined efforts of operatives of the command and Zone 9.
Mr Ogbizi said police at Umuokpara division got the hint that the pastor’s Jeep, which was taken away by his killers, was found at Ohiya Mechanic Village in Umuahia.
He said the information led to the arrest of the mechanic, who was reportedly engaged by Peter to help in dismantling the security and tracker in the vehicle.
He said the mechanic gave Mr Peter’s identity, adding that he (Peter) was invited to the station during which he was arrested and detained.
Narrating how the deceased was killed, the suspect said he and the hired killers laid ambush in front of Mr Iwuanyanwu’s residence around midnight.
“As soon as he came back and opened the gate, the boys went into the apartment, where they matcheted the three of them to death,” he said.
He said the original plan was not to kill them, but that they were killed after one of the killers realised that he had been recognised by one of the deceased.
Mr Peter said his plan was to attack the pastor and remove some of his valuables, which he intended to share with the assassins.
He said after killing them, he took some of the pastor’s personal effects, including shoes, electronic gadgets, telephones and the jeep.
He said he loaded the items in the pastor’s jeep, which he also attempted to take away but could not because of the security installed in the vehicle.
The suspect said he later got someone that helped him to start the car with which he evacuated the pastor’s property out of the building, located in an isolated part of the estate.
On his grouse with the late pastor, he said when he appealed to him to assist him, “rather than help me, the pastor started avoiding me.”
He recalled how he assisted the pastor in the past and was expecting him to reciprocate when he began to do well.
“When his ministry was not doing well, he approached me for help and I took him to a native doctor in Ikare, Ondo state, who prepared a charm for him,” Peter said.
He said the charm was prepared to help the deceased to draw crowd to his ministry on the promise to reward him when things improved for him.
He said he was worried when Mr Iwuanyanwu started making money in Umuahia but allegedly refused to assist him as promised.
Mr Peter, who was arrested with his wife, Precious, said he regretted his action and absolved his wife of complicity.
Precious, who said they had been married for about eight years and had three children, wept profusely.
She said she did not know that her husband could be involved in such a heinous crime.
She said while she lived in Umuahia with their children, her itinerant husband shuttled between Aba and Abuja on evangelism.
The commissioner of police said Zone 9 command commenced a manhunt for Mr Peter’s accomplices in the murder of Mr Iwuanyanwu and the two others.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Abia police command also arrested three persons, who admitted to have kidnapped a toddler at Ntigha, near Umuahia, in September and took him to Aba.
The baby boy was allegedly kidnapped by one Uloma Frank, a nurse, who reportedly sold him to one Grace Simeon, also a nurse in Aba, at N300, 000.
Simeon told newsmen that she sold the boy to one Onyebuchi Nnaji at N600, 000.
Also arrested were a Merchant Navy, Ifeanyi Osuji, said to be specialised in car theft and some kidnap and armed robbery suspects, accused of terrorising residents of the state.
Mr Ogbizi said the father of the kidnapped baby had been linked up and would soon come to claim the child. He said all the suspects would be arraigned at the end of the ongoing investigations.