Leaves suicide note inside Bible
By CHIOMA IGBOKWE and HENRY OKONKWO
DETECTIVES attached to the Lagos State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) are scratching their skulls to unravel the mystery behind the death of the General Overseer of Voice of Salvation Ministry, Pastor Bassey Lucky. The cleric allegedly took his life and left a suicide note inside his bible.
In the early hours of Monday, January 25, 2016, residents of No. 23 Abari Street, Papa-Ashafa area of Agege, Lagos were woken up by the screaming from the apartment of Pastor Lucky. He was found dead in the apartment with his throat slit. The bereaved wife, Grace, her son who were in the house shouted for help shortly after the incident was uncovered.
Lying on the floor was a kitchen knife stained with blood and a suicide note allegedly written by the pastor before he took his life.
Saturday Sun reliably learnt that the GO, an indigene of Akwa Ibom State, became frustrated after several members of his church deserted him. He was often caught murmuring to himself and cursing. In fact, the church was about to fold up at the time the incident occured.
Not satisfied with the suicide story, his wife, Grace, and her son were arrested by policemen for further investigation. According to a police source, the suicide note had been sent to the laboratory to ascertain if the deceased actually wrote it.
Grace, 49, who was in tears at the police station swore that she did not kill her husband. “I love my husband. In spite of the fact that I could not give him a child, he accepted me as his wife”, she pleaded.
Giving an account of what happened on the day of the incident, Grace said “On Sunday January 24, my husband came back from church late in the evening. I greeted him and he answered. He sat down, picked his phone and started deleting messages and some numbers. I asked him why and he told me that he was reading and deleting irrelevant messages.
“I gave him food; he ate and went to have his bath. After bathing, he became restless and started moving around the house. I asked him what the problems were and he replied that while he was burning the old books in the church, people around started screaming that he was doing something fetish.
“I was worried but I assured him that in a matter of days, people would forget the matter but he was still restless. I was already tired and when I could not calm him down up till 12 midnight, I decided to lie down and sleep.
“I slept off but woke up around 4am and discovered that he was still awake. I begged him to come inside the room and sleep. I explained to him that as a pastor, he was supposed to pray over the issue and allow God to take control.
“He stood up and went to the fridge, took some water and drank. I was relieved when he finally decided to lie down and sleep. Minutes later, I slept off. Sleeping on the floor in the same room was his son and one of our in-laws.
“Immediately, I slept off, believing that my husband was okay. About 30 minutes later, the bed started creaking and I woke up only to discover that my husband was gasping for breath. I asked him what the problem was even as I touched his body all over. It was then that I observed that my hands were soaked in a liquid substance. Initially I thought it was water. So, I woke up his son and told him to switch on the light. It was then that we noticed that blood was gushing out of his throat.
“I screamed. Immediately, neighbours gathered to help us take him to the hospital but the damage was much. It was while we were trying to lift him up that I discovered the knife that he used to kill himself. We were able to take him to the nearest hospital where he was confirmed dead. Since I knew I had no hand in his death, I reported the matter at Dopemu Police Station. We also discovered a suicide note written by him inside the Bible.”
Explaining her relationship with her late husband, Grace said that they met when he was very active in the ministry (church work). “In the past, his church had a large congregation and I was one of them. He decided to marry me. Unfortunately, as years rolled by, I could not conceive and bear him a child. This affected our relationship. I tried to reason with him that since, he had a son outside marriage, I was ready to accept him as my own. We separated severally and after some time, he would come back and beg me to accept him again.
“In one of the instances, he brought a woman from the village that she was the one who would bear him children. I accepted his decision and left his house. I was able to get a room at Dopemu and continued with my life, sustaining myself with the little money that I was making. Late last year, he came back begging that because he did not have money, he sent the lady back to the village.
“I love my husband, so I accepted him back. So, in the first week in January, he relocated to my house with his son. You can ask the neighbours, if they had ever heard us quarreled or heard me abused him. He had no money because the church was already empty. The last time I visited his church, there were only three women and children. On the day of the incident, he came home with N150 which was what he collected during the church service.”
On the suspicion that Pastor Lucky killed himself because of stolen church funds, she said: “Which fund are you talking about? He was the founder of the church. Besides, for several months, people refused to attend the church. He used to be popular until one incident caused a division among the members. He couldn’t handle it well and gradually, members left. I was the breadwinner and we were satisfied with the little that I can afford.”
When Saturday Sun correspondent visited the scene of the incident at Papa-Ashafa area of Agege, the neighbours wore long faces and appeared to be in shock at what happened in their compound.
They however, declined to talk when Saturday Sun sought to ask some questions about the cleric and his family. Many people declined knowledge of what transpired on the fateful day. However, one of the neighbours that volunteered to speak said that Pastor Lucky was just an easy going man that lived amicably with his family. “I have never heard that he quarreled with anyone here. He was just a quiet man. His wife is another wonderful woman. It is so sad that such a thing could happen to him and his family. I doubt if, she killed her husband.”