Eunice Dwumfour: Man charged for murder of Nigerian pastor’s wife in US knew her from church

Evidence suggests the victim and the suspect knew each other; motive remains unknown.

A 28-year-old Virginia man, Rashid Ali Bynum, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting of New Jersey councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour.

The incident, which occurred on February 1, 2023 has left the community in deep sorrow and searching for answers.

According to authorities, Bynum was apprehended on Tuesday morning, May 30, in Chesapeake City, Virginia, and is currently awaiting extradition to New Jersey. Yolanda Ciccone, the Middlesex County prosecutor, made the announcement during a news conference, revealing that Bynum also faces two weapons-related charges. It remains unclear whether he has legal representation at this time.

Investigators have uncovered evidence indicating that Bynum and Dwumfour were acquainted, although the nature of their relationship has not been disclosed. Further details about the motive behind the shooting have not been provided, as the investigation is ongoing.

Revealed details

During the press conference, it was revealed that Dwumfour, a 30-year-old councilwoman, had Bynum’s contact listed in her cellphone as “FCF,” an abbreviation for Fire Congress Fellowship. This organisation is associated with Dwumfour’s church, Champions Royal Assembly in Newark, which is a branch of a Nigerian megachurch.

Fire Congress Fellowship is described as a Bible study group in federal tax filings, with Dwumfour serving as its longtime treasurer. The fellowship’s office is located in Parlin, a nearby unincorporated section of Sayreville, just a short distance from where the tragic shooting took place.

Dwumfour’s father, sister, and a minister from her parents’ church were present at the news conference, expressing their grief and seeking justice for their loved one. John Wisniewski, the family’s attorney, stated that while they are relieved that a suspect has been charged, they are still grappling with the unknown details surrounding Bynum and the motive for the crime.

What you should know

Pulse earlier reported that the shooting occurred at approximately 7:30 p.m. on February 1. Dwumfour was shot while inside her car, which subsequently rolled down a steep incline and collided with two other vehicles at the bottom of the hill. Responding officers discovered Dwumfour with multiple gunshot wounds, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities shared some of the evidence that led to Bynum’s arrest, including security footage from the murder scene, location data from his cellphone, and electronic toll records that traced his journey from Virginia to New Jersey and back.

Eunice Dwumfour, originally from Ghana, had recently married a leader from her church, Champions Royal Assembly, which operates out of Nigeria. She had accomplished much in her life, graduating from Newark public schools and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from William Paterson University of New Jersey in 2017. Dwumfour had a successful career as a business analyst and professional scrum master, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Dwumfour, a Republican, had just begun her first three-year term as a Sayreville councilwoman, having narrowly defeated an incumbent Democrat in the 2021 election. Her historic victory made her the first Black person ever elected to office in Sayreville.

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