The new Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Indabawa, during his maiden press briefing on Wednesday, April 11, informed journalists of the arrest of a man, whose
name he gave as Jim Zaccheus, who killed his girlfriend, identified as Peace Mathias, then secretly buried her corpse in his room.
To ordinary residents of the city, especially those around the Elechi Beach neighbourhood of Diobu, who were the immediate neighbours of the victim and the suspect, it was a strange occurrence.
A next door neighbour of the suspect, who would not want her name in print, said Jim moved in to his apartment about six months ago. About the same period, another neighbour, called Nwamaka, moved in. In fact, Jim, Nwamaka and the deceased engaged in newspaper distributorship and they had done much to make sure that their activities or movement
were discreet. According to the neighbour, the trio do not interact much with people in the slum. Peace did not live there, but she was seen often on her usual call to her boyfriend's place.
The boy is from Andoni and the girl was from Calabar (Akwa Ibom). Nobody really knew much about their movement here because whenever Jim and Nwamaka returned from their paper business, they would not play with anyone, so it would be hard for anybody to tell you what really happened between them. But the police have come to dig out the body and arrested the boy and Nwamaka," the neighbour said.
However, another source from the neighbourhood who gave her name as Bianca said Jim was suspected to have killed his girlfriend while it was raining on Saturday, April 7 and had buried her in his room to conceal the act. According to her, it was one of Jim's friends, who visited him and suspected something foul that informed the police of the development.
"I heard that one of the guy's friends visited him and
observed that his bed was not resting well on the floor. He asked him why but Jim told him that it had always been like that. However, when Jim went to buy a drink for the friend, the man used the opportunity to lift the mattress up, and discovered a swelling on the ground. While checking out the reason for this, he discovered a human hand, and as soon as he left Jim's house, he went to report the incident at Mile
One police station," she said.
There had been all sorts of theories around the killing since the news broke. While some said that Jim and Peace were in a relationship until the unfortunate incident happened, some others stated that physical abuse was common in the relationship as Jim was said to have beaten his girlfriend in the past. Another version had it that Jim had been suspecting his girlfriend of having an affair and when he saw her with a new hairdo, he asked her where she got the money from, but her failure to satisfy his query resulted in her being beaten to death.
Still, another story said Jim and Peace worked in the same place, and that Jim had perfected some fraud which Peace detected. It said further that when she informed him that she knew what he had done, Jim promised to share the proceeds of the fraudulent acquisition with her, gave her a part and asked her to come to his house later to have the remaining part. Whatever happened when she went to the house to
take the other part of the money eventually took her life.