It took a little while, but karma caught up with 38-year-old Johnson Emmanuel who allegedly killed and buried a 55-year old woman in his backyard at Wumba Community in Apo area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Police operatives attached to the Intelligence Response Unit of the Nigeria Police Force arrested him, earlier this week, alongside his two younger brothers, Gideon, 31, and Success, 27, for the kidnap and murder of one Mrs Janet Nnenna Ogbonnaya on Thursday May 14, 2020.
She had lost her husband last year. Johnson, though admitting to killing the woman, said they were not kidnappers. The suspects, all born of same parents, and natives of Isiekenesi, Ideato Local Government Area, Imo State, were arrested by the police in their home town this week where they had taken refuge after the crime was committed in Abuja.
The police said they fled Abuja to evade arrest. The police said they began investigation into the matter when a son of the deceased, Chinedu, reported that their mother had been kidnapped and a five million naira ransom placed on her head by unknown persons.
According to Johnson, the woman had been a friend of his for two years and they had met through FaceBook, a popular social media platform.
But another son of the deceased, Jonathan, who spoke with The Nation yesterday, said it was not true. Johnson admitted that he laced the woman’s drink with drugs, which killed her that Thursday night.
According to him, she had visited him that day in his house located around Second Transformer, Wumba in Apo area of Abuja. He said that she had told him that she wanted to leave, but he insisted that she stayed the night in his house.
He said because he did not want to struggle, he had gone to a nearby chemist shop and asked them to give him some sleeping drugs so he could put it in her drink so she could sleep off till the next morning in his house as he wanted.
According to him, after she took the drink, she slept off and did not wake up again. Panicking, he called his younger brother Gideon, to help him deal with the situation, and they eventually ended up burying her in a septic tank in his backyard.
Johnson said the compound belonged to him and he had sold it off at a giveaway price, so he could get the matter behind him.
He said they decided to talk to the woman’s family about ransome, so they would think she had been kidnapped by unknown persons, and would not be traced back to him.
A Toyota Highlander Jeep, which belonged to the deceased, was also recovered by the police operatives at a mechanic workshop in Apo where it had been repainted into a different colour, vehicle documents fraudulently changed and ownership of the stolen vehicle criminally transferred. Johnson said: “This this thing happened on the 14th of last month.
I have known her for two years now. We have been dating. Each time she came to my house, she always went back. So, on that day, she came to my house and wanted to go back, but I did not want her to go. So I went and bought her sleeping medicine for her to sleep with me. “I went to the pharmacy to buy the sleeping medicine.
It was a powdery substance. I put it in a juice and she slept and did not wake up again. When she did not wake up, I called my younger brother, Gideon, between 9.30 and 10.
I told him I wanted to see him. “Gideon came and I told him that my friend had died in my house. I explained everything to him. I suggested that I wanted to bury him in my backyard and he said no.
He advised me to put her inside the car and dump her by the roadside. “I did not agree. I was afraid people would see us and report us and it would be a murder case. That was how he helped me and we buried her in the soak-away in the compound.”
According to him, the last brother was not involved in what happened.
On why he called the woman’s family for ransom, he said: “I told my brother that I wanted to make it seem like she was kidnapped so nobody would suspect that it was me. That was why I called. I called and told them to pay a ransom, and after two days, I broke my SIM card and hers, so there would be no communication anymore.
“I knew that definitely they would trace the call. They might know I was the one that killed him. I called my brother and told him I was confused. I was afraid the police might trace her to my house, so I sold my house at an auction price.
“My house is located at Bakassi Market, Wumba, Apo. I thought by then nobody would suspect me but they would think it was kidnappers.
“When I put her SIM card in her phone, one number called but I didn’t know the person. The person said his name was Mr Igwe and he was looking for the woman. I gave my brother the phone.
“My brother was afraid. I told him this is what we would do for us to get out of this mess. If we say it is kidnappers, they would not trace it to us. Since that day, I did not call again, and I broke our SIM cards.
The police said the suspects led a team of investigators, on Thursday, alongside pathologists to a residence at Wumba District, Lokogoma, Abuja where the victim’s decomposing body was exhumed from a septic tank.
The exhumed body had been taken to the University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja for forensic examination.
The Police said investigations also revealed that the house where the deceased was killed and buried originally belonged to one of the suspects but was hurriedly sold off to a third party apparently to obliterate evidence.