The victim of a violent murder in Luton last month has been identified as a faith healer who promised clients he could solve all their problems in a week. Police are looking for former patients who might have been dissatisfied with the treatments of a man they say lived a double life.
Bedfordshire police took the unusual step of naming the victim yesterday as Alfusaine Jabbi, also known as Abdula and Mohammed Ali, 22, from Gambia, although he has yet to be formally identified. He had been in Britain since 2003 and had made his living as a spiritual healer called Mr Wahib.
“This man clearly led a double life,” said Detective Superintendent Keith Garwood, who is heading the investigation. “On one hand he was the much-loved son known as Abdula, with a family living thousands of miles away, and on the other, a businessman called Mr Wahib, trying to make a living as a faith healer within the Muslim community.”
Det Supt Garwood said two of Jabbi’s brothers were expected to come to Britain to identify the body but he was anxious to proceed as speedily as possible with the investigation and had therefore taken the decision to name the victim.
The dead man’s business card promised that “Nobody can beat Mr Wahib!!!” It went on to assure potential clients that “all your problems will be solved forever and all your wishes will be fulfilled in seven days guaranteed”. Among the problems, Mr Wahib promised to solve were sexual impotence, exams, anything concerning business or finance, depression and “domestic problems regarding husband and wife”. He described himself on his card as “guru, psychic, holyman or spiritual healer” and guaranteed to break “magic and evil spirits” in 48 hours. He claimed that “if… you are fully disheartened with everyone else, then ring Mr Wahib immediately”. He also promised to help those who were “separated from your loved one”.
“We know that he worked from a flat in Bury Park Road and advertised his services with a business card in which he claimed he could break magic spells and ward off evil spirits,” said Det Supt Garwood. “But we believe he lived elsewhere and we are now appealing to the public to tell us if he was your neighbour. Did he rent a room or a flat from you? Where did he shop, did he buy food from a local corner store or nearby supermarket? It is vital that we piece together every aspect of his life so that we can begin to establish a motive for his killing.”
The body of Jabbi, who had been murdered in what police described as an “almost ritualistic” fashion, because the method used was so violent, was found in a car park by a man cycling home from a night shift on April 29. He was wearing a black shirt and jeans with tracksuit trousers underneath, and had bare feet.
The police, who believe he was murdered elsewhere, said yesterday they were anxious to trace anyone who may have used his services, including those who might have been unhappy about the results. One line of inquiry is that he was killed by an angry client.
A Bedfordshire police spokeswoman said yesterday that initial reports that Jabbi had been killed in a ritualistic or sacrificial way were inaccurate and were based on a misunderstanding of an earlier police briefing. She said that it was not clear whether Jabbi had lived in Luton or used it as a business address.
The dead man is believed to have advertised in the past with the now closed London-based West Africa magazine. A former staff member said yesterday he recalled advertisements promising to counter evil spirits which had been placed by a Mr Wahib. He said the magazine had taken other similar ads after pressure from readers seeking faith healers. He said there was a large market for such healers.
It is understood that Jabbi had residential status in France but had moved to England. The Gambian high commission in London said it had been unaware of his presence in Britain until informed by the police.