A self-acclaimed evangelist, Mr 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.
Peter, who was arrested by the Police in Abia in conjunction with Zone 9 Command, told newsmen at the Police Officers’ Mess, Umuahia, that his grouse was that the deceased refused to assist him financially.
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, Mr Anthony Ogbizi, who briefed newsmen on the incident, said that Peter was arrested through the combined efforts of operatives of the command and Zone 9.
Ogbizi said that 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 that 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 that the mechanic gave Peter’s identity, adding that Peter was invited to the station during which he was arrested and detained.
Narrating how the deceased was killed, the suspect said that he and the hired killers laid ambush in front of 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 that 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.
Peter said that his plan was to attack the pastor and remove some of his valuables, which he intended to share with the assassins.
He said that after killing them, he took some of the pastor’s personal effects, including shoes, electronic gadgets, telephones and the jeep.
He said that 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 that 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 that 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 that 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 that he was worried when Iwuanyanwu started making money in Umuahia but allegedly refused to assist him as promised.
Peter, who was arrested with his wife, Precious, said that he regretted his action and absolved his wife of complicity.
Precious, who said that they had been married for about eight years and had three children, wept profusely.
She said that she did not know that her husband could be involved in such a heinous crime.
She said that while she lived in Umuahia with their children, her itinerant husband shuttled between Aba and Abuja on evangelism.
The commissioner of police said that Zone 9 command commenced a manhunt for Peter’s accomplices in the murder of 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 Ulonma 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.
Ogbizi said that the father of the kidnapped baby had been linked up and would soon come to claim the child.
He said that all the suspects would be arraigned at the end of the ongoing investigations.