A 49-year-old pastor, identified only as Bassey, has reportedly slashed his throat after he was accused by his church members of diverting church funds for personal use. It was learnt that the sad incident happened last Monday around 5am on Abari Street in the Mulero, Dopemu area of Lagos.
The suicide was reported at the Dopemu police divison, policemen deposited his remains in a morgue, while his wife, Iya Emmanuel, and son, Emmanuel, were arrested in connection with the incident.
But it was said that the pastor wrote a short note, stating that his family is not complicit in his death.
A police source told Punch that preliminary investigation revealed that the pastor was frustrated after he was accused by the church of diverting an undisclosed amount of money.
“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, identified 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 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, adding that she did not believe his family members had a hand in his death.
Lagos Police PRO, SP Dolapo Badmos, said: “Case transferred to the SDCI for further investigation.”