Confession of a murder suspect: My family notorious for crime

By on August 17, 2014

“They said that my father used to kill fowl and drink its blood. They told me that he was so notorious in the village that people stigmatized us. I was told that my elder brother was killed mistakenly because he found himself in the company of armed robbers. My second brother was killed over a land issue although the police claimed that he was into kidnapping”, says alleged killer of Lagos business woman, Njideka.

Weeks after a Lagos-based busi­ness woman, Njideka Lizzy Nzewe was murdered in her apartment at Green estate, Amu­wo-Odofin area of Lagos, her supposed boy­friend and only suspect, Kelechi Mokewu has given a chilling account of the notoriety of his family.

The mother of four, aged 39, who was well cele­brated for her exploits in marketing Edmark prod­ucts in Nigeria was said to have been strangled by her younger lover, 33-year-old Kelechi on July 20. He later absconded to Cote d’ Ivoire after spend­ing days in Ghana with her valuables including a Range Rover SUV he stole from her house.

The deceased’s family, however, insists that their sister and Kelechi were only business part­ners and not lovers as widely reported. This and other puzzles are what the police have been work­ing to unravel in a bid to ensure the dastardly act is not ranked among the many unresolved murder cases in Nigeria. Since Kelechi was repatriated to Nigeria from Cote d’ivoire where he was eventu­ally arrested, he has been telling the police more than one reason he killed Njideka.


Shortly after the incident, the Nzewe family alerted the police at Area E command, Festac. From there, detectives led by Dan Okoro, an As­sistant Commissioner of Police, launched a man­hunt for the suspect. Soon after, it was discovered that Kelechi fled from South Africa to Nigeria af­ter allegedly murdering his neighbour over a failed business deal. The Range Rover SUV stolen from Njideka helped in providing information about the movement of the suspect because of the tracking device fitted into it. Kelechi was initially tracked to a church known as the Miracle Revival Church International, Accra, Ghana, where members of the church vividly remembered that he came to the church on Sunday, July 20, 2014 to celebrate God’s mercy upon his life.

“The elders of the church also gave us a state­ment. They told us those weeks before he trav­elled down to Lagos, he came for a special prayer. Everyone was excited when he returned with a Range Rover. In fact, he was used as an example to narrate how God can bless a believer. They also confirmed that he did not spend up to one hour in the church. His excuse was that he just stepped into the country and wanted the pastor to bless his car”, a member of the police team cracking the case told Saturday Sun.

His next port of call was the famous Kanthan­manto market, where second hand clothes are mostly sold in Ghana. “We tracked down some of his friends who also confirmed that he was at the market to celebrate his success. He told them that it was his latest lover that bought him a car because he got her pregnant. He bought drinks for them and hurriedly left the market with the excuse that he had a business meeting,” the source added.

He left his phones on and through that he was able to get tip-offs from his family members and friends on the manhunt for him by the police. “We discovered that family and friends were sending messages to him, threatening that the police was on their way to pick him up in Ghana. Alarmed, he decided to relocate to Abidjan with the same car that had a tracking device. With the aid of Inter­pol, he was picked up at Abidjan where they later handed him over to a team of police detectives from Nigeria.” The suspect was said to have have moved freely across the borders without scrutiny because he was “generous to the security agents at the border posts.”

Although Kelechi claims that he acted out of rage, facts on ground tend to point to the fact that he prepared for the trip. “If it was not pre-med­itated, he would not remember to pack all his properties and steal from his so-called lover. He also had in his possession, an ECOWAS passport that had Nzewe as his surname. He also ensured that he transferred to the children’s room the vic­tim’s four-year-old son, Mikel who was fast asleep while her mother was being strangled. He did not stop at that but also convinced the security man to take him to the bank where they withdrew money through the late Njideka’s ATM card.

“He also slept in a hotel in Festac till the next day from where he visited a mechanic and ensured that the car was in good state for a long journey. Investigation also revealed that the woman was beaten up and strangled. That explains the foam in her mouth and the stool that was seen on her dress. It appears that he knew what he was doing because he also ensured that he locked the door to enable him to move to safety before Njideka’s body will be found,” the police source further argued.

How it all started

Although Njedika’s family insists that the duo’s business relationship dates back to February 2014, Kelechi claims that they met in Ghana in 2011. “We met at an event in Ghana and I accosted her when I realised that she is not just an Igbo woman but also from Anambra. In 2014, when I returned home to see my mother, I saw her in Nnewi wait­ing for a motorcycle and she was looking much younger and pretty. I introduced myself and we exchanged phone numbers. One thing led to an­other and we became friends. She realised that I would help her with importing most of the goods she had in her shop. It was then that she opened up to me about her estranged marriage and her kids,” Kelechi narrated during an interaction with Saturday Sun.

For months the relationship blossomed before it eventually turned sour. “She trusted me to the ex­tent that anytime she comes to Ghana; she would stay in my house and vice versa. I fell in love with her and was actually serious when I proposed marriage to her,” he said.

Insisting that he mistakenly killed her in a fit of rage, Kelechi claimed that it was a phone call that she received that night that got him annoyed. “As usual, I came down to Nigeria on her invitation. On Friday night, she got home late and I was fu­rious because she refused to pick my call. I con­fronted her and she claimed that her phones were on silent mode. I did not believe that story because I knew that men were disturbing her. I called the number and it rang out, so the story she told me that her phones were on silent mode was a lie. I was boiling in anger when her phone rang; she refused to pick the call. I picked the call, and saw the caller’s name as Ifeanyi. I was mad when the caller who thought she was the one who picked the phone asked to know if she got home safely and that he enjoyed the moments they shared. I was mad and couldn’t control myself again. I broke the phone and she attacked me. She grabbed my manhood while I struggled to free myself from her grip. I had no choice but to strangle her with her cloth; it was when she released my manhood that I knew that she had slumped. I tried to wake her up but realised that it was late,” Kelechi further narrated.

Kelechi’s next account casts doubt on his claim that the attack was not a premeditated crime. Ac­cording to him, as soon as he realised that the deed had been done, he thought of the obvious way out of the problem. “I knew that I was in trouble and the best thing to do was to compose myself very well. I quickly relocated her son who was sleep­ing in the room at the time of the incident back to their room. I picked one or two valuables, packed my bag and picked the car key. I also locked her inside the room, so that I would have gone far be­fore they realise that she is yet to come out of her room. I needed cash and since I did not know the password of her ATM, I contracted the services of the security man. I had observed that she normally sends the young man to withdraw money for her through the ATM. In one of the instances, she had asked me to direct the security man to go on that errand. This made it easy for me to convince him that his madam needed money that she would use to attend night club,” Kelechi said.

With the help of the security man, they with­drew N100,000 while Kelechi made sure that he observed the password. He drove him home and excused himself again, this time with the ex­cuse that he was to pick one of the late Njideka’s friends who was to join them. “I left the area but could not go far because of a punctured tyre. I had to wait till the next morning and got it fixed”

Trip to Ghana

The next day after repairing the car, Kelechi in the company of another friend started the journey out of the country. “I knew that the best thing to do was to leave the country. I already had an international passport that had her surname. This made it easy for me to cross all the checkpoints without any arrest, since the documents of the car had her name on it. Whenever I was stopped, I would tell the security opera­tives that the car belongs to my wife. I also withdrew N40,000 before heading to Ghana.

“In Ghana, I needed to cook up a story to justify where the car came from, so it was easy to tell my friends that one of my older lovers in Nigeria bought me the car for getting her pregnant. Initially, I went to the church to ask for forgiveness of my sins but when the congregation saw the car, they were excited. I had no choice but to convert it to a thanksgiving service. Everybody was very happy with me. I also visited the Kanthanmanto mar­ket in Accra, Ghana where I also celebrated with my friends who knew me as a hustler”, he explained.

On why he had his phones on crossing the borders, Kelechi told Saturday Sun: “I left my phones on so as to know who called and whether they had discovered her dead body. The text messages that I got alerted me that they already knew my whereabouts. I had no choice but to travel down to Abidjan in Cote d’ Ivoire. I chose that country because I have a girlfriend who is expecting my child.”

Plea for mercy

Quite aware of what his fate could be, Kelechi broke down sobbing and begging the family of the deceased to forgive him. “I know that I have wronged your family that is why I am beg­ging for mercy. I sincerely loved your sister and her children that was why I was begging her to marry me. I could not stand the thought of another man taking my place. Although she was far older than me, I was ready to fill in the gap as her husband”, he sobbed.

Faulty background

Kelechi began his journey in life in 1983 at Umuoji, Idemili North, Anambra State where he was born into the family of the late Iweobi Mojekwu. He had a troubled life as he grew to know that his father was a terror in our community. They said that my father used to kill fowl and drink its blood. They told me that he was so notorious in the village that people stigmatized us. I was told that my elder brother was killed mistakenly because he found himself in the company of armed robbers. My second brother was killed over a land issue although the police claimed that he was into kidnapping. I do not know their story because I was a kid when all that happened. I lost two of my sisters during childbirth.

“Life was so difficult that I had to drop out of secondary school to start apprenticeship on sale of electrical appliances. Along the line, I was roped into a crime I did not commit, but luckily for me, my mother and my only living sister came to my rescue.”

In an attempt to flee from Nigeria and its setbacks, Kelechi claimed that he relocated to South Africa in search of greener pasture. “I was again accused of murder but before they could catch me, I boarded the next available flight to Nigeria. I was ashamed of myself, that was why I quickly moved over to Ab­idjan but war broke out and I ran to Ghana. I started dealing in secondhand clothes. This was how I met Njideka in 2011 in one of her trips to Ghana”, he added.

He was never her lover but business partner – family

Describing Kelechi’s claim as a lie and a plot to tarnish their sister’s hard-earned reputation and attract sympathy, one of Njideka’s relations and confidant, Christian Mekowulu claimed that he knew about their relationship right from day one. “Njide­ka grew up in my house when their parents died at an early age. I was her confidant and I know of her dealings. Early this year, she called me from Nnewi when she met Kelechi. The story she told me was that Kelechi approached her with a marriage pro­posal and along the line she got to know that he lives in Ghana and could assist her in importing goods for her shop in Lagos.

“My sister was a very industrious person who tried her hands in various trades, just to make both ends meet. He found him to be very reliable after he had assisted her to buy goods. She did not see anything wrong in allowing him to sleep in her house any time he comes to Nigeria. He kept insisting that he wanted to marry my sister and I warned her to beware of this boy who was much younger. The fact remains that ever since she separat­ed from her husband, different kinds of men had asked her hand in marriage. We know that they are all after her money.

“A day before the incident, she called to inform me that she was having issues with the boy. I was shocked when on July 19, her security man called to inform me that my sister was inside her room probably dead,” Christian narrated.

Continuing, he said: “As soon as I got there, we alerted the police who took snap shots of the scene before the door was broken. She was dead. We discovered that after killing my sis­ter, he left with her Range Rover SUV and valuables. It was with the assistance of the police led by ACP Okoro that the boy was tracked down and arrested in Cote d’ Ivoire. I do not know why he decided to kill her knowing full well that my sister was always full of praises for him and was ready to help him be a better man. She was supposed to move over to her new house at 7th Avenue the next day. She had also made arrangements to travel to US with her children on a three-month vacation”, Christian further said.

The immediate elder brother of the deceased, Augustine who is based in Lagos, also claimed that the family does not know Kelechi as their sister’s lover but her business partner. “My sis­ter had told me severally about a man who had been assisting her to import goods from Ghana. The first day I met him was on July 17, 2014. That day my sister and I went to her new house. We were there throughout that day. From there we went to her shop at 23 Road, Festac. He said there is one guy called KC she does business with who lives in Ghana. She said the boy was in his shop and that she would like me to meet him.

“The last time I spoke with her, she told me that she had final­ized plans to move over to her new house. I was shocked when the security man called to alert me that my sister was yet to step out of the room. He said that the children woke up and went to their mother’s room but she didn’t open. He went with them to help them knock on the door but she didn’t open too. After, he went to their neighbour to carry a ladder which he placed near the parlour and climbed the ladder. From there, he saw my sister lying down. I asked him if she was moving her body. He said no. Immediately I stopped eating and took my car and starting driving. I called my cousin and asked him to come to Njideka’s house, that there is something wrong there. I told him am on the way. By the time I got there, he was already there with his younger brother. He said KC had killed Njideka. We went to police station and called the carpenter as well. We took a snap shot of the door capturing the way it’s locked. The carpenter opened the door and I saw my sister lying down with foam in her mouth and nose. She was strangled. We moved the corpse to the police station.”

Another member of their family, Chinelo Igboatu, who claimed to be her childhood friend and the manager of her gal­lery in 23 Road, Festac, also insists that the affair between the duo was strictly a business relationship.

“We were childhood friends. When she opened the gallery at FESTAC opposite UBA , I was staying on the Island. She called me to come down and manage her gallery. I have been there. I was the one managing the place and this young man whose real name is Ikechukwu Eze had been assisting us to buy goods. The last goods he brought was 365 pieces of children shoes and 65 men and 50 ladies.

“Three days before he killed my sister, he came to the shop on Wednesday because my sister wanted to travel to America. She asked him to come down to Nigeria so that he could bring goods for her. When he came, my sister was not around. I was the only one there. I asked him this one my sister is travelling, will you still bring goods for us? He said yes. Even if my sister spends six months in America, he will still be bringing goods for me. I didn’t know that he had other intentions. He said his eye was on big cars. There is this business he is managing. That if it matures he wants to buy a new car not knowing his plan was to kill her and take her money and her car.

“They were not dating, it was strictly business. Because she trusted the young man, that was why she allows him to stay in her house for few days, whenever he returns to Nigeria to supply us goods.”

The lady, Njideka

Having lost both parents as a teenager, life was difficult for the Nzewe family. But determined to excel in life and proba­bly get the wherewithal to further her education, she decided to learn a trade. “She started in Onitsha as an apprentice and few months later, she was able to start up her own business. When she relocated to Lagos, she established her own shop at Balogun market where she started by selling footwears and lady clothes. Gradually, she got contacts with importers of GNLD products; this was how she launched herself into the networking business. She tried her hands on different products till she finally joined the Edmark group.

“She also excelled there by winning the highest prize of N37million for her efforts in selling the product. She also at­tended several managerial courses which enabled her to fit into her new line of business which was networking. She normally organised seminars for intending members. In fact, she was very successful and invested in properties. She had just finished her private house and was to pack into the house the day she was killed,” Augustine stated.

According to him, the late Njideka invested her funds and en­sured that the family benefitted from her generosity. “She was very generous. She had done so many projects including the house that she built for her estranged husband. She had plans to develop a charity home for the underprivileged and had already started building a hotel in Satalite town. My sister was an easy going person that believed that no one has the right to take away her joy”, Augustine said.

Troubled marriage

On her failed marriage, Augustine argued that his sister could no longer endure the bad side of marriage. “Njideka’s marriage crashed due to irreconcilable differences. She lived with her husband for some time until the man started messing up. I was always called to settle one problem or another and their case was severally reported at the police. My sister was paying all the bills while her husband kept messing around. Even when they wanted to pack out, it was my sister that paid for the new accommodation.

“I did my best to encourage her to manage the outcome of her marriage but her husband was not helping matters. She was blessed with four kids who are all leaving with me at the mo­ment. Till date, the children are not aware that their mother is dead. The eldest, Ifeanyi had asked severally what happened but we told them that she travelled abroad for treatment. I don’t know how long it is going to take but they will get to know the truth. It is rather unfortunate. The first son is Ifeanyi, the twins are Chioma and Chinenye and the last child who is about four years is Mikel”.

She trusted him- Security man

According to John Tungwin, the security man, who had lived with Njideka for four years, he never suspected foul play be­cause Kelechi was so calm when he came to meet him. “This was the third time that he visited the house and my madam had so much respect for him. A day before the incident, I went to the new house with her and later came back in the night. She dropped me at the gate and went out, only to return at about 12am on Saturday. She told us to start packing our bags that we will finally move over to the new house.

“About two hours later, Kelechi came out with her ATM card and said that my madam asked me to help her withdraw money. Because madam had sent him to me before, I did not question the demand. On our way back, he told me that he needed to pick a friend who would join them to the club that night.

“When I waited and he never returned, I called him and he said that madam had changed her mind. It was then that I went in to sleep. The next day, Chioma, one of the twins knocked at my door and said that her mother refused to open her door. I called her numbers and they were switched off. Since there was no way she would have left the compound without my knowl­edge, I became worried. I called Kelechi back and he refused to pick my call. I immediately borrowed a ladder from my neigh­bour and peeped into her room. I saw her lying face down.

“My madam trusted him and he was so nice to the children. Most especially, when he came to me that night, there was no sign of panic, he was his usual self. I did not even notice that he was observing and getting the ATM pin, “John explained.


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