Killers of a retired President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Makurdi, Benue State, Justice Margaret Igbetar, have confessed to having killed her for allegedly taking their family’s landed property.
Some gunmen had on August 24, 2023, invaded the retired judge’s residence located at Wantor Kwange Street, opposite the School of Medicine, Benue State University, Makurdi and killed her.
Her decomposed remains were discovered by her relative a few days later.
Parading four suspected killers of the retired judge on Tuesday, the state Commissioner of Police, Batholomew Onyeka, said the deceased’s nephew identified as Aondohemba Joseph led a gang to the residence of the retired judge where they killed her.
Other suspects arrested and paraded were the driver of the late judge, a security man and one other relative.
The suspected gang leader, Joseph, who spoke to journalists during the parade claimed that the deceased had his father’s landed property.
Joseph said, “She (the late judge) was my aunt and she had the documents of my father’s landed property and when we asked her, she was not forthcoming about it.
“So, I had to arrange with others, meanwhile I was not the one who stabbed her, it was Dzungwenen Ukor.”
Ukor, who confirmed stabbing the deceased, said Joseph asked him to stab her because she refused to release the documents of his father’s property he said was in her possession.
“He asked me to stab her and I did that because he had accused the woman of withholding documents of his father’s landed property,” Ukor said.
Another suspect, Akuhwa Barnabas, 32, who was recruited as a driver to the deceased two months before the incident, said he was only asked to man the gate.
He said, “I was recruited as a driver to the deceased two months before the incident and truly, they contacted me that when they get the documents and sell the property, they would settle me.
“So, I was told to be at the gate and not allow anyone to enter and the moment they finished, they left and I also ran away to avoid arrest.
Earlier while addressing journalists in his office, the CP said, “The suspect (nephew) who eventually confessed to have planned and recruited other people to help him in killing his aunty led a team of detectives to Adikpo, the Kwande Local Government Area where the following suspects were arrested: Igbazenda Gbidye, 63, and Dzungwenen Ukor, 40.
“These suspects admitted that Aondohemba Joseph had reported to them that his father died and left so much property in the hands of his aunty (the deceased) and she has refused to hand the said property over to him. They agreed to join him in eliminating her so that he could have access to his property.
“One Akuhwa Barnabas, 32, a driver to the deceased who was also arrested, corroborated their statements by admitting that he was the one who allowed the gang access to the house and manned the gate until they finished.”
Madukwe B. Nwabuisi is an accomplished journalist renown for his fearless reporting style and extensive expertise in the field. He is an investigative journalist, who has established himself as a kamikaze reporter.