DETECTIVES attached to the Criminals Investigation Department (CID) of the Lagos Police Command are probing the circumstances surrounding the death of a 40-year-old housewife, Helen Peters, whose lifeless body was found in the house of a young man identified as Henry Uwadiegwu on January 19, 2015.
The victim was allegedly lured by Henry to his house on number 36, Fashola Street, Agege, with the intention of abducting her for ransom. To perfect his plans, Henry allegedly hired some thugs to tie her up on the excuse that she was insane. He also contacted a nurse who injected her with an unidentified drug to sedate her for 8 hours. But the drug ended up killing her.
The suspicious activities going on in his flat drew the attention of his landlady who stopped him from fleeing when he discovered that Helen was no longer breathing.
On his arrest, a police source told Saturday Sun that they got were alerted by a source at the General Hospital, Ipaja that a young man brought in a dead woman without valid explanation. Henry was within the hospital vicinity when the Police arrived there and arrested him.
During interrogation, Henry, 25, told the Police that the deceased was his sugar mummy for many years. Hear the Police source: “Henry hatched a plan to extort money from her family and executed the plan. He deceived neighbors and a nurse to tie Helen up and inject her with drug that could sedate her for several hours. When they discovered that she was no longer moving her body, they rushed her to the hospital where she was confirmed dead.
“To cover his tracks, Henry registered the deceased with a fake name and address.
Also in order to confirm that he and Helen were lovers, Henry took us to a hotel where he claimed they normally hanged out although investigation revealed that he worked in the hotel as a security man. He also took us to a bar and we discovered that the place is very close to the deceased in-law’s house and few meters to her family house. This made it impossible for anyone to believe that story. Meanwhile investigation is ongoing,” the source told Saturday Sun.
Police investigation further revealed that before the incident, a school proprietress had narrowly escaped being kidnapped by Henry some time ago. It was alleged that he invited the woman from her school at Gowon Estate, Ipaja to his house at Agege to discuss the modalities for enrolling two of his children in her school. But as God would have it, the woman failed to show up.
My wife only wanted to help him -Husband
When Saturday Sun’s correspondents visited the deceased home at Gowon Estate, where friends and sympathizers were trooping in to console Helen’s husband, Emmanuel and the immediate family, the bereaved husband who is also a Zonal Pastor at the Winners Chapel, explained that his wife was deceived by the suspect into believing that he was in need.
“My wife was a good woman and her major weak point was her generosity. Henry was once a security man in the estate and he was well known to the residents including my family members. Few weeks before the incident, my wife informed me about her encounter with Henry. She explained that Henry impregnated a woman and the woman’s family insisted that he must marry her.
“She said that Henry came to her shop at Gowon Estate and knelt down begging for assistance and since she was a woman leader in the church, she wanted to encourage him by supporting the marriage. I was not comfortable with that story but my wife ensured that I was okay with the story. Anytime the guy visited her shop, she would tell me.
“Few days to the day of the incident, my wife came back and in her usual way of keeping me updated, said that Henry had secured a venue for wedding. She told me that as soon as they agreed on a date; she would like to go and see the hall to be sure that the rent was not high. On January 19, she told me that she would go and inspect the house.
“They agreed to meet at an eatery in Ipaja, and take off from there. My wife was at the eatery and called me. She told me that she was waiting for Henry and also used the opportunity to alert me that her car was faulty. I volunteered to come with another car if that one could not be managed but she said she would manage it. That was the last time I heard from her.
“Thereafter, her phones were switched off. I assumed that her phone battery was down. But when I waited and did not hear from her, I became alarmed. It was then it occurred to me that the children were still in school and if they had not returned, then their mother had not gone to pick them. I rushed out and brought my kids home. I also called my in-laws and they said that she was not with them.
“I decided to trace Henry through the family of the girl that he claimed he impregnated. The family members who I saw were so bitter and threatening to deal with Henry, if he dared come close to their house. I was alarmed because I had just discovered that there was no wedding coming up. I managed to get his number and called him asking how he was preparing for his wedding. He asked me which wedding was I referring to and switched off his phone. It was already late in the evening. I heard my phone rang but before I could pick, it rang out. I was excited when I noticed that the call was from my wife. I did not bother to call back because I assumed that she was then at home. I got home but discovered that she had not returned. It was then that I called her number and the person who picked the call said, ‘the person wey get this phone don die. Come to the police station oh’.
“I was shocked but I composed myself and called my pastors, family and close friends. It was when we got to the police station that it dawned on me that my wife was no more. When I eventually saw her, she had marks around her wrist which showed that she was tied up. She also had bruises all over her face.
“Henry murdered my wife for her generosity. It was when the matter came up, that some women in the estate narrated their experiences. I have been married to her for 15 years and God blessed us with four children,” Emmanuel said in tears.
At the police station, Henry admitted that he hatched a plan to kidnap Helen but insisted that the execution of the plan was easy because they were lovers. “Helen was my girlfriend and she lured me into the relationship. Her provision shop was closer to where I was working and I used to call her aunty. So, one day she called me and told me that she would like us to be friends. Initially, I was afraid to do that because she was a married woman. But when she started buying gifts like clothes and wrist watches for me, I agreed. She had visited my house three times. At a point, I decided to kidnap her to raise about N10m to establish a business and start a new life”, he confessed. Wrist watches for me, I agreed. She
Determined to perfect his plot, Henry arranged with an auxiliary nurse within the area who could sedate Helen, so that she would fall sleep. “So, on that day when she told me that she would visit me, I arranged with a nurse and told her that my brother’s wife was insane and that I would like her to give her sleep inducing injection, so that I could tie her up and take her to the village. On that fateful day, Helen drove to my house and sat in front of my room. In the process, I went and called four of my neighbors to assist me tie her, so that I could send her to the village and they did. Thereafter, the nurse came and injected her and she slept off. I paid her the sum of N1, 500 as agreed. After some time, she could no longer move her body. So, we put her in her car and drove her to the General Hospital, Oke Odo. On getting there, they did not want to attend to us. One of the nurses said that the woman was already dead. It was then I knew that I had entered into trouble.
“One of the people that followed me to the hospital escaped and ran to our house to report. I think, it was they that informed the police for fear of being arrested. Shortly, the police came and arrested me. I had no intention to kill her. What I needed from her was money. My intention was to kidnap her, so that her family would raise money for me. It could be that the injection the nurse gave her was overdose,” he narrated.
Pleading for mercy, Henry said he could not explain what led him into the act. “I think there is a bad spirit that is tormenting me. My parents died when I was 3 and I do not have any one to lean on. There was a female herbalist in my village that I was working with and before she died, she told me to continue with the job, but I refused. I do not know whether it was my refusal that is working against me now. Please help me invite a pastor to pray for me”, he pleaded.
Henry told Saturday Sun that he came to Lagos at the age of 15 but had nowhere to stay. So, he went straight to Iyana Ipaja under bridge. He stayed there for two years before he was able to get someone to squat with. Thereafter, he left and met the owner of his present apartment who later moved out and left the place for him.
When asked whether his neighbors who helped him tie his victim were members of his gang, he denied that they had hands in the deal; rather he deceived them that the woman was insane and needed help to tie her and take her to the village.
I heard someone scream, Landlady, son recount
Expressing gratitude to God that she noticed the situation on time, the landlady of the house, Cibi Shittu said that they would have been in trouble if Henry succeeded in fleeing the compound. “Henry is my tenant and lives at the boys’ quarters. I do not know much about his activities as he is a quiet tenant that only greets and goes his way. On that fateful day, I was in the house and heard the voice of a woman crying for help. Although, I had waist pain, I managed to drag myself out of the house and walked towards his apartment. I noticed that they were dragging someone and I called out to Henry who we fondly called Oyibo. He simply told me not to worry that there was no problem, but I was suspicious because I heard some screaming.
“Immediately, I called my son Gafaru to leave whatever he was doing and come to the house and he did in less than 20 minutes. If not for God, I’m sure that the police would have detained us for days over the incident”, she maintained.
Corroborating her mom, Gafaru said when he heard the urgency in his mother’s voice, he ran to their house. “That day was the first time that I met Henry personally. I knew we had a tenant called Henry but since I do not live in that compound, I had not met him personally. As soon as I got to his room, he refused to allow me in but I was able to observe that a hefty woman was lying on the floor. I also noticed that he had packed his bags as if he wanted to travel.
“I asked him who she was and he explained that Helen was his sister who was insane. He claimed that he drugged her so that they could carry her to the east where a specialist would take care of her. I demanded that he should take her to the hospital. We took her to the General Hospital and they confirmed that she was already dead.
“I held unto him, and demanded that we have to report the matter to the police since the woman was dead. I searched for him and saw the woman’s phone. I checked her call and the most recent call was saved as ‘My Husband’. I dialed the number and informed the person that picked the call that his wife was dead. We alerted the police, who came and picked him up from the hospital”, Gafaru narrated.