28 June 2014

Woman who Kidnaps A Young Boy In Lagos Is A Prayer Warrior

Rosemary Chukwu had become a sort of nuisance to her neighbours. Many times, they had complained about her praying habit. “She would shout and scream and make noise while praying. She makes everybody uncomfortable. That is what everybody knows about her here. This is why we are still in shock about what she did,” said one of her neighbours at 33, Omo Ologede area in Majidun, Lagos.

What Rosemary Chukwu is currently embroiled in is simply shocking for many who know her. The woman stole the 7-year-old child of her neighbour, Mrs. Gloria Emeka. In fact, when she was caught in the act, it was the timely intervention of security agents that saved her from being lynched.

Rosemary allegedly kidnapped the young boy for ritual purposes by her pastor who is now on the run.

An eyewitness, who entered the church before police intervention, said when they stormed the church earlier, they met a man with his hands and legs shackled in chains.
The man, who gave his name as Onuora Okeke, said: “I am not a mad man. Please help me! I was taken from around Redeemed Church Camp on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Pastor Ernest kept me here. There were many of us but they usually come to take away.” 
The man also revealed to the people that he was from Anambra State and had been locked up in the church in that manner since 2012. The man was later taken away by the police.

When Punch visited Omo Ologede on Wednesday, it was noticed that Chukwu and parents of the kidnapped child were co-tenants. Another neighbour in the same compound, Biola Odunsin, narrated how he, in conjunction with other neighbours, caught Chukwu.

He said, “It was around 6.30am today (Wednesday), when the mother of the child raised the alarm that she could not find her son, Emmanuel.

“We all rallied around her to find out what happened. She informed us that she had sent him to fetch water from the well in the compound. She raised the alarm because her son took too long and when she went to the well, she only saw the empty bucket the boy took there.

“While we were looking for the child, Rosemary (Chukwu) even came out to join in searching for the child as well. She was pitying her mother, showing concern and asking us to check some other parts of the compound.”

One of the neighbours who also took part in the search for the child, told Punch that Chukwu even asked him to see whether the child was in another compound not far from the house.

Two other neighbours named Yakubu and Vincent said they even entered the well where the child was sent to fetch water. “We entered the well to see if the boy fell inside but we found nothing,” they said.

But while the search for the child was going on, Chukwu was said to have gone inside her apartment and came out with a large luggage.

“She carried the luggage on her head and passed by us as we searched for the child. She said she needed to drop the bag somewhere and that she would come to join the search later,” Odunsin said.

But a suspicious woman, the wife of the landlord of the house, alerted the search party, telling them to search the bag Chukwu had on her head before she was allowed to leave.

When the residents called after her to tell her to bring the bag for a check, she reportedly began to run. But a moment later, she was caught.

“We immediately opened the bag and inside was Emmanuel with a cloth used to gag him. The child would have died because he could not speak again. We tried hard before we could resuscitate him,” Odunsi said.

However, the infuriated neighbours descended on Chukwu and while they were beating her, she screamed out that they should spare her because she was only a messenger.

Pastor Ernest sent me! Please don’t kill me, Pastor Ernest sent me o!” she was reported to have told the crowd who descended heavily on her.

Chukwu took them to the church of the pastor who she claimed sent her, which turned out to be Pastor Ernest Nwankwo of the Holy Family Happy Family Ministry (House of Mercy), Majidun.

One of the residents who took Chukwu to the church said by the time they got there, the pastor had escaped to an unknown location. She was later handed over to the police who took her away.

A photograph of Chukwu obtained by our correspondent showed a plump, fair complexioned woman with a motherly face. She is said to have four children – two boys and two girls.

Neighbours said they had not seen her husband, he was always away from home though they are still married.

A crowd of residents had besieged the church, barely kept at bay by some sternly looking policemen who were said to have prevented the church from being burnt down earlier by angry residents.

Despite this, some youths had succeeded in entering the church before the police came and seized hundreds of audio CDs of an album recorded by the pastor.

The youths publicly and excitedly sold the CDs on Ikorodu Road to motorists and passers-by for N50 each.

Some residents who pleaded anonymity informed Punch that the church was not a conventional one.

“They don’t hold service on Sundays, only on Tuesday and Thursday. The pastor claims to treat mad men,” one of them told our correspondent.

Lagos Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, said Chukwu would soon be transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba for further investigation. The pastor of the church is still on the run.


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