Residents of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital where shocked to their marrow, when the news broke that a young man, Joseph Ekala, 27, murdered his sister’s girlfriend, Miss Kate, 25, and buried her corpse in a shallow grave in his apartment.
Parading the suspect alongside 13 other suspects at the state police command headquarters on Monday, Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO of the Bayelsa State Command, SP Asinim Butswat said: “One of the most disturbing reports received over the weekend was a case of murder involving a young man and a lady of 25 years old.”
“Precisely, on Friday, 29 July 2022, we recieved a disturbing report from Okaka community that a young man named Joseph Ekala, 27-years old murdered one Kate Ugu, 25-years old strangled to death and buried her in a shallow grave in his apartment at Okaka.”
“Our operatives were moblised to the scene with the help of some medical experts, the corpse was exhumed and deposited at the Federal Medical Centre mortuary for autopsy.”
HOW IT STARTED
“I work in an oil and gas servicing company in Port Harcourt as an Admin Support.”
“On July 1st, I came to Bayelsa to carry out some maintenance work in my house because Kate (deceased) met me in February that she needed somewhere to stay based on the fact that the person she wanted to go and stay with in Lagos has ghosted her and she needed a place to stay for about four months before going back to Lagos. I stay in a two bedroom flat and since she is my younger sister’s friend I asked her to get my younger sister’s permission since she was her friend.”
“I said fine, come if my younger sister says you can come. So I gave her one of the rooms and stayed in the parlour. So I got a job and moved to Port Harcourt in April. Occasionally I come to do some maintenance in the house. So on July 1st when I came, she met me and told me that she wants to trade (forex) because back then in 2020 she knew that I was trading.”
“I told her that the best thing I can do is to help you by teaching you how to trade by yourself, she got my account details and sent me N50,000, I asked her what is it for because I had earlier said that I was not trading for people, she said I should trade for her and after too much convincing, I said how much are you expecting, she said she is expecting N20,000 monthly for five months, I told her no bank or financial institution can do that for you it is not a miracle.”
“I told her to send me her account details that I will make a refund after five working days, but some things came up that I couldn’t make it and she started sending messages to my colleagues in my office that I am a scammer and fraudster, that I am this and that and this is a job I just started recently, I didn’t want the thing to escalate. I tried to calm her down on phone that this is not something I can explain over the phone, that I will come over so we can talk one on one.”
“Then I came to Bayelsa State this past Monday to talk to her with the hope of going back to Port Harcourt maybe Tuesday. When I got to Yenagoa that night I didn’t say anything because I observed that she was still angry. I wanted to sleep but I realize that she has brought over one of my tenant’s child. I said Esther (what are you doing here and she raised her voice at me started shouting saying what is my business. I said this is my house and I am addressing my tenant’s child. For over twenty minutes she was still talking).
“I couldn’t resolve it on Tuesday so I said let me stay back a few more days to resolve it before going back to Port Harcourt because if I go back the chances she might still do the same thing.”
“All this while I was not at home so I came back on Thursday, immediately she saw me she was still having that hot feeling. I told her give until the end of the month and I will pay you back, she said she doesn’t want the N50,000 that she wants an interest of N20,000 on top that N5,000 interest is nothing. I said if I have to give you N20,000 interest that it has to be the exact day next month but she was still raising her voice that she will deal with me that her aunty is a police officer and all that.”
“She was pushing me and shoved me and I pushed her back and she fell on the bed in a sitting position, and she was trying to chance me and was screaming for help and trying to talk to a lady outside, so I quickly rushed to her and try to close her mouth as she was calling for help but she bite my hand we started struggling from the bed to the ground so my hand held on to her neck tight and she passed away. I choked her by holding her neck.
WHY I DIDN’T CALL FOR HELP
“It was not up to a minute after I held her neck before she gave up. It was the struggle from the bed to the ground that took time. I did not call for help. After she died I walked out of the house to go clear my head because I understand what had just happened. I walked out to go think what I just did and solutions or anything. As I was walking, a thought came to me that I should just bury the body maybe persons will not be aware. I came back to the house at night because this happened in the morning, of July 28, Thursday morning around 9 or 10 am when it was raining. I borrowed a shovel and look for as section in the room that is not tiled and dug it and bury her in the night. I couldn’t sleep until 3am. I checked her pulse and confirm she is dead because I know the pulse as a science student. I am not a Yahoo boy, I didn’t kill her for ritual. I did not inform my sister that I have strangle her friend to death.”
WHY I DIDN’T REPORT TO THE POLICE
The fear, that thought didn’t occur to me, I knew the implication of what I have just done, everything happened so fast.
HOW I WAS CAUGHT
“The following morning, her mother came around, this is my first time of seeing her, so I opened the door. It is like her daughter gave her a spare key to the house and from the information I got the mother came there that Thursday night to look for her. So the following morning she came back and immediately she knocked I opened the door and she came in. She said her daughter was uncomfortable staying in their house because they have a small apartment that it was because of privacy reasons that her daughter moved out of their house.”
“I feel very bad about it because these are simple thing that I could have prevented by firstly not accepting her to stay and secondly sticking to my principle of not accepting finance, yet I broke my principle by allowing someone to come and stay with me accepting and accepting to trade for someone, I feel very sorry about it. Now it is leading to a very bad turn out.”