A community revenue collector, Ifeanyi Ezinwa Paul, 29, has told the police that he killed his 19-year-old kinsman, Victor Ebuka, in order to avoid paying the N100,000 loan he took from him.
Rather than pay his debt, Paul lured Ebuka into a bush in Umuleri, Anambra State and attempted to stab him to death.
The teenager engaged Paul in a scuffle, but Paul overpowered and strangled him.
During the scuffle, the knife nicked Paul, causing him to bleed.
Seeing the wound, Paul came up with a devious plan.
He ran straight to the King’s palace, claiming that robbers attacked him.
When he was finally arrested for murder, the suspect blamed his action on greed and devil.
Paul, who is married with three children, dropped out of secondary school after his father died.
He learnt driving and soon became a commercial bus driver.
He explained that as a man with a wife and children, he struggles every day to make ends meet.
But the ends stubbornly refused to meet.
He said: “Two years ago, my kinsmen invited me to come and work for the community.
“My duty was to serve as a revenue collector for the elderly men in the community.
“We have market days, and everyone was expected to drop a certain amount of money.
“It was going well, but I became greedy and spent part of the money I had collected on behalf of the community.
“I knew I would lose my job if anyone noticed the shortage.
“It was out of desperation that I approached Ebuka, who owns a provision store in our village.
“He was my relative and we are from the same kindred in Umuleri.”
Paul explained that some time in December 2020, he borrowed N100,000 from Ebuka, with a promise to refund by January.
He said that when it was January 10, which was the deadline, he couldn’t meet up.
He said: “After the deadline, Ebuka kept pressuring me to pay and even threatened to report me to the king.
“If he carried out his threat, they would find out that I had used the community money.
“I made up my mind to silence him.
“I bought an unsliced bread, created a hole in it and hid a sharp knife inside it.
“I called him to come and meet me at Aguleri Junction around 8pm.
“He came with a cyclist, but I asked the cyclist, who is known to me, to go home.
“As soon as we got to the technical school at Aguleri, I told him that I wanted to urinate, so that we would stop.
“There was a lot of bush around the school.
“I chose a pathway where people hardly pass.
“I immediately opened the bread and brought out the knife.
“He saw me on time and we started fighting.
“He took the knife and stabbed me several times before I grabbed his neck and strangled him.
“Our area is well guarded and I was bleeding.
“There was no way I wouldn’t meet the private security people on the way as it was already dark.
“I quickly decided to claim that I was attacked by robbers.
“I ran to the palace and the King of Umuleri was not around.
“I told the security men that I was attacked by robbers.
“I was bleeding from the knife stabs that I received, so the guards asked me to go to the hospital for treatment.
“The next day, the chairman of security in our community came with the police to arrest me.
“They had found the body of Ebuka and it was covered with many stab wounds.
“I maintained that we were attacked, and that I narrowly escaped.
“When my wife and family members visited, I insisted that I was innocent.
“After I was moved to IRT, I had no choice than to confess.
“I cannot explain the devil that entered my head.
“I don’t know what to tell my family and kindred.
“They should all forgive me.
“What happened was the handiwork of the devil.”
According to police investigators, on January 15, 2021 at about 8:30pm, Paul lured the deceased to a lonely part near Umuleri Technical School, stabbed and strangled him.
The police further said: “During interrogation, Paul explained that he lured Ebuka to a spot with an excuse that he wanted to sell him a plot of land.
“The victim never knew that the suspect already brought a knife and hid it inside a loaf of bread.
“The point where the incident took place was beside Nneyi Umuleri Technical School, Anambra East.
“He asked the boy to stop and that he wanted to ease himself.
“While pretending to urinate, he brought out the knife from the bread and the deceased saw him.
“They started struggling and Paul sustained injuries from the knife.
“Even as they continued to struggle, Paul grabbed the boy by his throat and strangled him.
“It was because of his injuries that he ran to the king’s palace, claiming robbers attacked him.
“He showed the king his bloody clothes and body.
“The king advised him to go to hospital for immediate attention.”
It was while Paul was in the hospital that police stormed the place and arrested.
But even while he was at the police station, he maintained that he was attacked by armed robbers.
The case was transferred to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department, Awka.
Ebuka’s father was also said to have written a petition to the Inspector-General of Police, demanding thorough investigation.
The IGP instructed the Intelligence Response Team, headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, to investigate the matter.
It was gathered that after operatives pointed out the discrepancies in his narrative to him, Paul carved in and confessed to the crime.