A 49-year-old pastor, identified only as Bassey, has reportedly slit his throat after he was accused by his church members of diverting church funds for personal use.
It was learnt that the incident happened last Monday around 5am on Abari Street in the Mulero, Dopemu area of Lagos.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the suicide was reported to the police at the Dopemu divison, and policemen deposited his remains in a morgue, while his wife, called Iya Emmanuel, and son, Emmanuel, were arrested in connection with the incident.
It was learnt that the pastor had written a short note, stating that his family was not complicit in his death.
A police source told our correspondent that preliminary investigation revealed that the pastor was frustrated after he was accused by the church of diverting the undisclosed sum.
“The knife used by the pastor to kill himself has been recovered. He also wrote that he killed himself. We learnt that he was accused by his church of diverting money. He was probably frustrated because his neighbours described him as a God-fearing and honest person. We are still trying to find out the actual amount involved,” the source said.
A neighbour, who identified herself as Seun Oladimeji, said the pastor had been awake in the night, walking around the passage. She said a note, which read, “I, myself, not my wife”, was found in the family’s room after his death.
“I don’t know whether he (pastor) did it because of the money issue, but he and his wife were very friendly. He woke up around 3am that day. I learnt his wife and son, Emmanuel, later begged him to go back to bed. At about 5am, the woman screamed for help. We all gathered in their room and saw blood gushing out of the pastor’s neck.
“Unknown to the woman, he hid a knife which he used to slash his throat. Before he died, he wrote on a piece of paper ‘I, myself, not my wife’. I can say it anywhere that it was not his wife who killed him. The son was just crying; he was not himself. Both of them were arrested.”
Another resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the pastor and his wife had a good relationship with each other, adding that she did not believe his family members had a hand in his death.
He said, “Pastor helped his wife with her hair before the incident. They really loved each other. Most times, while the wife washed clothes, he would be spreading it on the line.”
Another resident, Mr. Olatunde Olasunbo, said the pastor moved to the area with his family two years ago.
“I did not know his church, but he was God-fearing and very nice. He was always with his bible. Even if he diverted the church funds, suicide is not the solution. He and his wife related like siblings. They moved to this area two years ago,” he added.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the incident via a text message, adding that the case had been transferred to the State Department of Criminal Investigation, Yaba.
“Case transferred to the SDCI for further investigation,” she stated in the text.