13th February, 2015
An attempt by two domestic staff to poison Pastor Itua Ighodalo of Trinity House, a mega church in Victoria Island, Lagos, western Nigeria, has been foiled.
The two workers allegedly connived with a herbalist to hatch the plot to enable them kidnap the pastor’s wife, Ibidunni, and demand for a ransom of N80 million.
But the plot was foiled by the couple before they could actualise it. The police have arrested the two domestic staff and the herbalist and charged them to court for attempted murder.
Police identified the suspects as Abdulkareem Mohammed, 24, the alleged mastermind of the plot, employed by the couple as a dog handler, Makinde Ewuosi, 36, a native doctor who resides at 21, Joseph Street, Lagos Island and has his shrine at 9, Alofun Street, Lagos Island, and Paul Eke, 29, a security guard at Osborne Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos where the couple resides.
Police investigation revealed that nemesis caught up with the suspects when the couple’s pet dog named Simba suddenly died from food poisoning at their residence at Ikoyi, Lagos.
Suspecting a foul play, the couple contacted their dog’s doctor to conduct an examination on it to know the cause of its death and the doctor’s report revealed that the dog died from food poisoning.
The couple reported the incident to the police and the dog handler was arrested and taken to the station for interogation.
During interogation, according to the police, the dog handler (Mohammed) from Borno State, allegedly confessed that he mixed poisonous substances given to him by a herbalist with food for the dog to eat and after the dog ate the food it died.
In his alleged confession to the police, Mohammed further said: “The security man in our estate, Eze, brought the information that if we poison my boss to death, kidnap his wife and demand for N80 million ransom we would be rich overnight. And to actualise our mission, I went to consult a native doctor, Ewuosi for help.
“And after explaining my mission to the native doctor, he gave me poisonous black powder, black soap and sponge with a directive that I must use the powder to poison my master’s dog to know the effectiveness of the poison and if it vomits and dies, I should use it to poison anybody.
“After the dog died, we were still planning how to use the poison on my boss and kidnap his wife for ransom before I was arrested. But I don’t know how the devil used me to plan such evil against my employers because they were taking good care of me. I pray to God to forgive me.”
Following his alleged confession, Mohammed led the police to arrest the herbalist and the security guard.
Ewuosi, the herbalist, allegedly confessed that he prepared some concoctions for the dog handler but not to kill anybody.
After investigation, the suspects were charged before a Tinubu Magistrates’ court on a two-count charge of attempted murder of Pastor Itua Ighodalo and his wife, Ibidunni.
The offences, the police prosecutor, Supol Chidi Okoye said, are punishable under sections 409 and 228(1)(2) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.
The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge in the open court, and Chief Magistrate Miss A.O. Awogboro admitted them on bail in the sum of N500,000 each with two surties each in like.
Awogboro directed the prosecutor to send the case file to the DPP’s office for advice and adjourned the case till 18 March, 2015 for mention.
The defendants were, however, taken to Ikoyi Prison, Lagos, pending when they will fulfil their bail conditions.