Ten­sion as mur­der­ers in­vade Abuja com­mu­nity

Daily Trust - - CRIME - By Adam Umar & Taiwo Adeniyi

The killing of a dea­coness, Eu­nice Olawale Elisha, of the Divine Touch Parish of the Re­deemed Chris­tian Church of God (RCCG), Phase 4, Kubwa, Abuja, on Satur­day, made the head­lines, but in­ves­ti­ga­tions con­ducted by Daily Trust re­veal that her mur­der was just one of many that oc­curred at that sub­urb of the cap­i­tal city within three days.

While the killing of the dea­coness threw the town into con­fu­sion, the shoot­ing to death of a trader and two other per­sons, all within a space of three days, also served to in­crease the level of ten­sion in Kubwa, these re­porters re­li­ably gath­ered.

The killings took place along with sev­eral other armed rob­bery cases in the town.

The per­sons were at­tacked and killed at dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions in Kubwa, one of the fastest grow­ing satel­lite towns in the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory (FCT).

The hus­band of the de­ceased preacher, Mr Olawale Elisha, said the late Eu­nice had at­tended the Women in Min­istry Con­fer­ence of RCCG, Re­gion 20, at Master’s Place, Utako, on the pre­vi­ous night.

He said she did not have enough rest when she left for her usual early morn­ing evan­ge­lism at about 5:00a.m.

He said on the fate­ful day, the late mother of seven, whom he de­scribed as easy go­ing, for the first time, left with­out par­tic­i­pat­ing in the family’s prayer which takes place early morn­ing.

But, Elisha, in com­plete sub­mis­sion to the will of the Lord, said: “I see her as a mar­tyr and she died for Christ. Whether the peo­ple (her mur­der­ers) are ar­rested or not I for­give them. My prayer is that they should ac­cept Christ.”

Another res­i­dent, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity, said though the com­mu­nity en­gaged the ser­vice of pri­vate guards, the ef­fort was in­ad­e­quate.

He said res­i­dents of the area started fac­ing se­cu­rity chal­lenges when some peo­ple, many of them said to be for­eign­ers, started re­sid­ing in shanties close to the area.

He said though Dea­coness Eu­nice screamed, she could not be res­cued be­fore the at­tack­ers killed her.

He said that she shouted, ‘blood of Je­sus! Blood of Je­sus!’ adding that, no help came her way. She was left in a pool of her own blood with her hand­set, Bible and mega­phone be­side her.

Many sym­pa­this­ers, in­clud­ing the wife of the vice pres­i­dent, Mrs. Do­lapo Os­in­bajo, and Chair­man of the Bwari Area Coun­cil, Musa Dikko, were among dig­ni­taries who vis­ited the family of the de­ceased.

About six per­sons have been ar­rested as po­lice be­gan in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the case. Among those ar­rested was a trader who has a con­tainer close to a scene of the mur­der along with his younger brother. They were said to have been whisked away by some po­lice of­fi­cers from their makeshift shop on the morn­ing of the in­ci­dent.

Res­i­dents said also among the peo­ple ar­rested were a recharge card seller and a com­puter ap­pli­ca­tions dealer.

While Kubwa res­i­dents were yet to re­cover from the mur­der of the preacher, another man was killed around Jaji Street on the same day.

The young man was hacked to death by a group of boys, whom res­i­dents said have been ter­ror­is­ing them for some time now.

The de­ceased per­son’s land­lord, who did not want to be named, said the man, after get­ting in­jured by his at­tack­ers, had strug­gled to get to his house be­fore he fi­nally gave up.

Also, on the same Satur­day, a fruit seller was shot in the leg dur­ing a rob­bery op­er­a­tion, op­po­site a petrol sta­tion on Arab Road.

An aban­doned petrol sta­tion at NYSC junc­tion along the Kubwa Ex­press­way oc­cu­pied by some of traders was also at­tacked by un­known peo­ple.

Daily Trust re­li­ably gath­ered that about 30 peo­ple oc­cupy the petrol sta­tion which has not been in use for sev­eral years.

One of the oc­cu­pants, who es­caped, said that the at­tack­ers, who dis­guised them­selves as po­lice of­fi­cers, ar­rived there at about 2:00a.m. on Satur­day.

He said that the armed men, who claimed they were on rou­tine search of the area, or­dered them to hand over all their hand­sets and forced them to lie face down.

“One Malam Maunde, who sells recharge cards, con­fronted them and told them since they were po­lice of­fi­cers, they should tell us our of­fence,” he said.

“But they shot him, and also took his recharge cards from his pock­ets.”

Another oc­cu­pant, Dan Gal­adima, who sus­tained in­juries dur­ing the at­tack, said one Nafi’u, who also stayed in the build­ing, es­caped by jump­ing from the one-storey build­ing.

He said the at­tack­ers es­caped through a bush be­hind the petrol sta­tion and made their way into two wait­ing ve­hi­cles parked at the ex­press­way.

He said the case was re­ported at a Kubwa po­lice sta­tion.

Also, another man was tor­tured to death in Gbazango area in Kubwa, on Thurs­day. A vig­i­lante leader in the area said the de­ceased was tor­tured for sev­eral hours be­fore he died.

The vig­i­lante leader de­scribed the tor­ture as a form of jun­gle jus­tice, adding that the man was tor­tured after he was ac­cused of steal­ing a phone.

When con­tacted, the FCT po­lice spokesman, An­juguri Man­zah, said that six per­sons were ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the fe­male preacher’s death.

The As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice said the FCT Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, Al­kali Bala, has or­dered a Deputy Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion and In­tel­li­gence De­part­ment (CIID), to lead a team of in­ves­ti­ga­tors on the mat­ter.

He, how­ever, said that he was yet to

The aban­doned fill­ing sta­tion at Kubwa, Abuja where armed men al­legedly killed some peo­ple at the week­end. Pho­tos: Adam Umar

The slain pas­tor, Mrs Eu­nice Elisha

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