…strangled officer’s girlfriend
Please help me! I didn’t mean to kill them. I was so angry. Please help me to beg these policemen. Intervene on my behalf. I’m so sorry.” This statement is the voice of Mr Taddues Jaja, 28, a houseboy to a naval officer, Lieutenant Abubakar Yahaya Yusuf, serving at Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He confessed to have murdered his boss’s girlfriend, Loreen and in a bizarre attempt to cover the murder of the lady, killed and burnt his boss to ashes. But police are insisting that Jaja killed the lovers, so that he could empty their bank accounts without hindrance. According to Jaja, he strangled Lorren and hid her corpse in a turnover couch in Yusuf’s apartment. Incidentally, the crime happened in a naval barracks and nobody was the wiser.
Yusuf returned from work, unaware that his girlfriend had been murdered and was inside one of the couches in his sitting room, and went to bed. While he was sleeping, Jaja, who had earlier bought a machete, crept up to his bed and slaughtered him. Incidentally, Jaja had earlier tried to kill his boss by poisoning his noodles, but the poison, expected to be lethal, failed.
The houseboy said that he killed Lorren for being mean and hating him without a reason. He then killed his boss because he repeatedly lied to him and refused to settle him with the sum of N2.4million, which he promised him some months ago. According to him, his boss had repeatedly claimed that he didn’t have money, while he was secretly planning to travel to Canada with Lorren.
He also blamed Lorren for Yusuf’s change of attitude towards him. He strongly felt that Yusuf would have given him the N2.5m but for Lorren, who allegedly dissuaded Yusuf. Recalling how he killed his boss, Jaja said: “He was sleeping when I attacked him in bed with a machete I bought. After killing him, I dragged his corpse into one of Lorren’s suitcases. It was a big suitcase. I dragged him downstairs.
There was blood everywhere. I cleaned the blood. I carried the suitcase into his car and wore his naval uniform and cap. I drove his car to the gate. The naval men at the gate of the barracks opened the gate for me. They didn’t know it was me.
The time was around 5am. Everywhere was still dark. The naval men only noticed the white uniform and cap. I drove out of the barracks. I used Yusuf’s Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) card to withdraw N200, 000 from his account.
Before I strangled Lorren, I had already made her to give me Yusuf’s Personal Identification Number (PIN). I bought tyre and fuel. I drove to a bush and set his body on fire. After I killed Yusuf and Lorren, I took their phones.
Two belonged to Lorren and two to Yusuf. I used Yusuf’s phone to send text message to Lorren’s friend, Joy. While pretending to be Yusuf, I texted Joy that I had killed Lorren that her corpse was inside my apartment.
They should go and move it. I told her that I killed Lorren during an argument, which started after I told her that I was going to marry another lady, not her. I told Joy that I tried to buy Lorren off with N500, 000, but she was asking for N5m, thus we fought and I killed her. After I sent the text, I went and sold Yusuf’s car.” Jaja’s journey to police custody started after Yusuf went missing.
A police source explained: “Sequel to the reported death of Lorren, girlfriend to Yusuf, a serving Nigeria Navy personnel in his official quarters in Borikiri, Port Harcourt, and his subsequent disappearance, operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT) swung into immediate action. And with the aid of Technical Intelligence and unrelenting follow-up by a crack team of operatives, the suspect was arrested.
Upon his arrest, Jaja made very graphic confessions of how he murdered Lorren and then shockingly, in a bid to cover up the murder committed another crime. He murdered his boss. He then sent a text message with the late officer’s phone to Joya friend of Lorren -stating that Yusuf had murdered Lorren over a dispute. Jaja then drove the corpse of the officer to a forest in Ubima and burnt the lifeless body.
“The suspect took operatives to the forest where he carried out the dastardly act. The carcass of the late naval officer was found burnt beyond recognition. With the aid of a pathologist, the remains were recovered and deposited at UPTH Mortuary. Exhibit recovered from the suspect include the car of the naval officer which he had already sold to a buyer in Benin City and the Naval Officer’s phone, which he had also sold to a buyer in Port-Harcourt.”
Our correspondent, however, gathered that after Joy raised the alarm, everyone rushed to Yusuf’s apartment and sure enough, they found Joy’s remains. It was discovered that after strangling Lorren, Jaja stabbed her repeatedly on the chest, just to ensure that she was stone cold dead. But Yusuf’s grieving father felt that the stories behind the murder of Lorren and disappearance of his son were too pat. He went to the police station to report his son missing. But after much ruminating, he went to operatives of IRT.
He insisted that the IRT operatives were the only detective he believed could thoroughly and painstakingly investigate the case and crack it. Another police source noted: “The case was actually reported as that of a missing naval officer by his father. Lorren was found dead in the complainant son’s apartment. A text message was sent to Lorren’s friend- Joy’s phone confessing to have killed Lorren in anger.
The father immediately suspected foul play. The father said that he wanted a thorough investigation into the matter and felt that it was only Abba Kyari and his men that could unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of his son.
The case was assigned to a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP). The DSP immediately started investigations and on May 15, the IRT operatives invited the complainant and subjected him to a series of questions. When the policemen felt they had collected enough information and details, they started investigation that spanned weeks.”
The investigation saw the DSP and others on the team travelling to Benin in the team’s determination to crack the case. The naval officer’s car was traced and later recovered in Benin. The suspect was arrested in Port Harcourt.
“The suspect confessed that he killed the naval officer and the girlfriend. Initially, everyone thought the naval officer killed his girlfriend. But it was he who originated a text message, using the naval officer’s phone to send the message to joy, claiming that he killed Lorren. When he was arrested, he had actually tried to deny it until the DSP presented several analysis and evidence and suddenly the suspect cracked.
He knew the game was up and started singing like a bird,” said the source. It was also gathered that in the course of the investigation, the DSP noticed that every clue pointed to the suspect.
He approached his boss, Abba Kyari and told him about his hunches. Kyari, the DSP and other team members brainstormed through several nights checking and crosschecking all the clues.
When they were sure that the suspect was the missing link in the puzzle, they went after him. Jaja, who said that he is a school certificate holder and a technician recalled how he met Yusuf and how he eventually killed him.
His words: “I was working for Yusuf before Lorren came into his life. I was his houseboy. I started working for him in July 2016. Before then, I was working as an electrician at Abuja International Airport.
While working there, I saved some money. I decided to go to Port Harcourt to see my mother. The plan was to give her some money to care for one of my brothers, who is mentally challenged. When I got to Port Harcourt, I gave her N15, 000 and kept N5, 000.
I then went to see one of my brothers, working as a cook at the Navy Secondary School.” When he got to the barracks, his brother implored him to go and assist one of the naval officers to install a DStv.
The officer was Yusuf. On that fateful meeting, Jaja did not only install Yusuf’s DStv, he also fixed his plumbing and other electrical problems in the house. Yusuf was awed. He allegedly begged Jaja to come and work for him. Jaja recollected: “He begged me to stay and serve him. I told him that I needed to go back to Abuja, to work and raise money for my forthcoming wedding.
He replied that when I get married, he would settle me N2.5million for serving him. He said that the settlement would be after my wedding. I did Jaja everything in that house for him. I cleaned, cooked,swept and washed; everything you can think of.” The suspect continued: “Then Lorren came into the picture. I still don’t know how they met. Before Lorren came, I used to sleep inside the apartment with Yusuf, but when she came, I was sent out, to be sleeping outside where we used to spread clothes.
The apartment is a parlour and bedroom. It was Yusuf who ordered me out because the girl started complaining about me. Yusuf said that I should go and look for somewhere to sleep that he had a visitor.” According to Jaja on September 2017, Yusuf landed a contract with the Universal Basic Education Board, but didn’t want the board to know that he was a uniform personnel, thus he asked Jaja to front for him. “I went with him to buy all the materials. I personally took the items to the school to install. The items were technical materials for technical schools.
We installed items like computers and many other things. The first contract was N6.5 m and then a second contract of N15.3m, also came. Just like the first contract, I personally handled everything for my boss,” recounted Jaja.
He said: “After those contracts, I asked him again for my money, he said that I shouldn’t worry. After my wedding in December, I moved to my own apartment. One day, I called and asked him to help me with that settlement so that I could start a business, but he said that I was disturbing him.
He said that he didn’t have money. I made up my mind never to bring up the issue again.” Exactly two months after Jaja made up his mind never to call his boss again, Yusuf called him. He told him that he had a juicy job for him. Jaja rushed down to the officer’s office, but was disappointed.
He said: “When I got there, he said that I was slow in coming, that he had given the job to someone else. He said I wasn’t fast enough. I then asked him for transport fare back home, he ignored me. I left and went to greet some people in the barracks.” Before he left the barracks that day, one of the officers there hired him to fix his DStv. The officer paid him N5, 000.
He was about leaving the barracks when Yusuf called and asked him to take his DStv decoder to the DStv office. He said: “My boss gave me N1, 000 for transport fare to the DStv office. After it was fixed, I returned. For the first time since I had known him, my boss asked me for his change.
He then said that I should go and check his generator, that it was making a funny sound. I checked the generator, discovered the fault and fixed it. I asked him for fare back home, he gave me N1, 000. I asked him why he was treating this way, giving me just N1, 000.
“The following day, he called to complain that the generator was still making a funny noise. I told him that I would need to give it a complete service. I went to his house around 9am and worked on the generator till evening. When it was time to leave, I asked for transport, he said that I should take it from his yesterday change.” At this point of his narration, Jaja started weeping noisily.
“It was at that point that I became filled with anger. Last month, I went to his house to once again ask him for the promised settlement. He said that I was disturbing him too much.
When I got there, the girlfriend was not around, he said that I should prepare noodles for him. There was a drug that I wanted to give to some dogs; they were always disturbing us.
It was my wife that said I shouldn’t give the dogs the drug because she didn’t want trouble. Since then, the drug was always in my pocket. After preparing the noodles, I added the drugs, but it didn’t do anything to him.
I felt the drug was fake. On Wednesday I went to his house, he was not at home. It was the girlfriend that was at home. I knew she hated me, so I tried to play and make her laugh. I asked her how she was enjoying herself.
I then asked her to tell me my boss’s ATM number. My major plan was to find out my boss’s ATM number, collect the card from his car, where he always kept it and withdraw my settlement.
It was at that point that Lorren started telling me that they were supposed to travel to Canada, but something came up. I now remembered seeing a Canadian form one day when I was sweeping the house. It dawned on me that my boss had been lying and cheating me, claiming that he didn’t have money, while planning a journey to Canada with his girlfriend.” Jaja explained that another thing that hurt him exceedingly, was the discovery that Yusuf bought a new phone for Lorren and gave her N300, 000 to get a new apartment for herself.
Jaja narrated: “As she was telling me their plans, I was getting angrier. I lost it. I asked her to turn her back, that I loved her hairstyle. As soon as she turned her back, I strangled her with a rope.
The rope was one of my boss’s ceremonial one. I collected it from his room. After strangling her, I stabbed her in the chest. I carried and put her inside the turnover couch.”
Jaja would have got away with two well-planned murders, but for the suspicious father of Yusuf and operatives of IRT. Although Jaja claimed that he acted act of anger, police believed the murders were premeditated. He had earlier tried to poison his boss, but the drug failed him.
He then proceeded to buy a machete. There are also arguments that there was no way Lorren would have turned her back to present her hairstyle to Jaja since they both had a cat and mouse relationship. Another theory is that Jaja tortured Lorren while trying to get her to disclose Yusuf’s PIN and after he got it, he killed her to keep her from spilling the encounter to her lover. Further remembering how he was arrested, Jaja explained that he sold one of his boss’s phone to a friend after throwing away the SIM card.
He said: “When my friend asked me to come and meet him somewhere, I didn’t know that he had already been arrested. When I got there, police arrested me. My wife will soon give birth, please tell the police to forgive me. It was anger.
When my boss went missing, I was the first person his family called. They said I should assist them in trying to locate him and the missing car. I promised to help them.”
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