June 25, 2024

Central News

at the center of it

Nigerian ‘loafing around’ abroad may be hanged for killing U.S. politician married to Nigerian pastor

Rashid Ali Bynum and the late Eunice Dwumfour

For Nigerians contemplating to jaapa (emigrate) to “greener pastures,” often without concrete plans, here is an interesting scenario.

A man of Nigeria parentage accused of fatally shooting a New Jersey, United States, councilwoman has been pictured yawning as he pled not guilty to brutal murder in court.

He may be sentenced to death by hanging  soon and there are no godfathers there to bail him out. He was also apparently unemployed.

Rashid Ali Bynum, 29, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Eunice Dwumfour, 30, who was gunned down in her car outside her Sayreville home in February.

Images obtained by DailyMail.com show a careless Bynum at the Middlesex County Courthouse making faces as the charges against him are read.

Wearing all green, he appeared to smirk to the shock of many as he peered behind his hair every time the gun used in the killing was mentioned.

Late Dwumfour’s relatives were seen crying in court, and her mother Mary was arrested after throwing a water bottle at the suspect. She faces a disorderly persons offense.

Phone records expose suspect

Bynum was arrested in Virginia in May after police tracked him down with phone records, which showed his ties to the Newark Chapter of Nigerian-based Champions Royal Assembly Church, where Dwumfour worked.

Prosecutors say Dwumfour knew Bynum from her time as a pastor at the church. They also say cellphone records show he traveled from Virginia to New Jersey and then back to Virginia when the murder happened.

Bynum’s rental car, which he paid for in cash, was also tracked through its E-ZPass. Moreover, investigators claim they matched the weapon used in the murder to one found in the suspect’s apartment.

It was revealed in court that at one point Bynum lived with Dwumfour and her daughter. However, he was (sacked) sent back to Virginia after the church decided he was not following their beliefs.

Now, Bynum will remain jailed until his next court appearance on October 30. Judge Joseph Paone cited “overwhelming evidence” as a reason to hold him without bail.

The judge said: “Based on the totality of the circumstances and the horrific nature of the crime and the weight of the evidence, this court finds that the defendant has failed to rebutt the presumption for detention with the proof necessary to show that he does not pose a danger to the community, a risk to obstruct the criminal justice process, and a risk to not appear in court.”

Victim, a single-mother

Dwumfour, a Republican, ousted the sitting Democrat in the Borough of Sayreville in November 2021, in a shock election win, and was not up for reelection until 2024.

Though Dwumfour was a Newark native and has family there, she was living in Sayreville as a single mother. She had recently married a pastor who lives in Nigeria.

She was a Certified Business Analyst and Scrum Professional for Fire Congress Fellowship inc. and a part-time EMT.

Witnesses at the time of the fatal shooting said they saw a white vehicle nearby. Law enforcement said they pinpointed Bynum’s phone and car, a white Hyundai Elantra, using cellular tower extraction records.

In the early stages of the investigation, some neighbors told police that they’d seen Dwumfour speaking to a man outside her car on security camera footage just before the shooting.

Pastor-husband in Nigeria

Dwumfour married pastor Eze Kings (who lives in Nigeria) just before Thanksgiving, and lived in the apartment with her 12-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.

Pictures from her wedding day show how happy the mother-of-one was, grinning next to her new husband.

Kings posted on Facebook about the loss of his bride after the shooting by wishing her a happy birthday in advance: “4th March is your birthday; happy glorious birthday in addy my love.” The slang “addy” is thought to be a Nigerian word for the word advance.