By John Chikezie, New Telegraph
Church Prayer Warrior Who Collected N4Million From Ritualist Pastor To Kidnap Co Tenant’s Son Returns To Court 4 Years Later
6-year-old Kelvin Emmanuel has revealed how a woman in their compound, Rosemary Chinagoro Chukwu, believed to be a good Christian because she was always praying and going to church every day, grabbed and slammed his head on a toilet sink in order to knock him out and abduct him.
Witnesses claimed that Chukwu, known as a prayer warrior in the community at Majidun, Ikorodu, Lagos State, smuggled the boy into a large bag and attempt to leave the compound moments after praying and shouting, “Die by fire! Die by fire!”
She was said to have grabbed the little boy when he went to fetch water for his bathing on the morning of June 25, 2014.
The case was on Tuesday brought before an Ikeja High Court, Lagos. Emmanuel told the court that Chukwu dragged him inside her apartment when he went to fetch water from the well.
The boy added that Chukwu’s children were present when their mother hit his head on a toilet sink and thereafter tied him up.
“When she took me inside her house, she slammed my head on the toilet sink.
I became a little unconscious. She then tied my mouth, hands and neck and put me inside a large bag. I don’t remember what happened after because I woke up at the hospital.” The boy’s mother, Mrs. Gloria Chukwuemeka Kelvin, 28, narrated how Chukwu allegedly kidnapped her son for ritual purposes.
Gloria said Chukwu kidnapped her son and wanted to use him for a ritual for a monetary return of N4 million. While being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, C. K. Tunji-Carrena, Gloria said that Chukwu, during her confession, claimed that a pastor, identified as Ernest, asked her to bring him a human being for ritual.
She recalled: “On the morning of June 25, 2014, I woke up about 6:30a.m. to take care of my twin baby who had been sick the previous night. I have twins; a boy and a girl.
I was grinding pepper inside the compound with a hand blender when I beckoned on my son to come and bathe. He refused, insisting that the water was too cold as a result of the rain.
“There is a reservoir behind the house and he suggested on getting fresh water from the well. So I told him to drop the bucket there so that I could help him get the water once I was done grinding the pepper. I was shocked when he didn’t return after about six minutes.
The well was stationed at the next flat close to mine. Immediately, I began calling his name but there was no response.” When Gloria received no response, she became frantic.
Her motherly instincts told her that something was wrong. She got up and ran straight to the well. When she reached the well, she saw only the bucket Emmanuel went with to fetch water. She recounted: “I ran outside my street and started yelling and screaming his name. Other neighbours, who heard my voice, quickly gathered, asking what happened.
I also asked a woman selling at a kiosk if she saw my son; she replied that no child had passed that road. Out of frustration, I ran back to the house to knock at my landlady’s door. She opened and replied that my son wasn’t there. At that point, I began screaming his name as loudly as I could.
Everyone scattered and a search party was organised. Our landlady’s brother jumped into the well to see if he could find him but he wasn’t there. “I then went to Rosemary’s apartment and at this point, she was conducting prayers with her children, shouting ‘die by fire.’
I initially didn’t want to disturb them, but the landlady insisted I should knock and ask. When I knocked, her two children opened and stood by the door. When I asked them if they had seen my son, they replied that they had not seen Emmanuel. After her prayer, Rosemary came out and told us that she saw a man, wearing a white garment like a member of ‘Cele’, carrying a black bag.
She said that the man went into the school premises opposite the compound. With that information, everyone, including the men, dashed out into the school to catch the alleged person. But the landlady held me back, insisting that we shouldn’t all leave the compound.
“The landlady then suggested that we could do a house to house search if those that went to the school didn’t find Emmanuel. Immediately Rosemary heard about the house to house search, she quickly ran inside and came out, dragging a large bag. At that point, it was just four women and I that were left behind in the compound.
When the landlady saw her dragging the large bag, she asked her if she was about to travel at a time when a neighbour’s child had gone missing. She quickly replied, while hastening her steps that her flight had already been booked and that she needed to hurry in order to catch up. The landlady now said, “a woman who owes house rent and electricity bills, how can she afford a flight ticket?”
The seemingly harmless question caught the attention of the other women. When the landlady further suggested that they should check out what Rosemary was carrying in the large bag, everyone agreed. The women immediately hurried after Rosemary.
They called out to her and asked her to wait. Rather than wait, Rosemary placed the bag on her head and started running. Gloria said: “As we ran after her, we began screaming ‘olee olee’ and neighbours outside the compound chased after her. She couldn’t run very fast because the road was muddy. She was held by two youths standing on the street. Before we got to her, she threw the bag at another man’s gate and thereafter attacked the youth. She told the boys that her ghost was inside the bag.
When we finally got there and opened the bag, it was my boy that was inside it. She tied his hands and neck with her scarf. I cried deeply and began struggling to untie him. He wasn’t breathing at that moment; he appeared to be lifeless. “Other community members came with water to pour on him. Others came with concoctions to wake him up and he eventually did.
I later left Rosemary at the mercy of the community members while I carried my son to the hospital. When she was interrogated, she confessed that Pastor Ernest Nwankwo told her to kidnap the boy for a ritual at a fee of N4 million.
She was later taken to Ipakodo Police Post.” Justice Josephine Oyefeso thereafter adjourned the matter till June 29 for continuation of trial.