Police nab suspect over murder of Justice Igbetar in Benue

Following the discovery of her corpse in her private home, Justice Margaret Igbetar’s suspected killer has been arrested by the Police.

Justice Igbetar was reportedly killed in her residential home in Makurdi the Benue State capital, several days before her corpse was found.

The retired President of the state Customary Court of Appeal was said to have been discovered in her kitchen, surrounded by her own blood and bearing deep cuts on her back on Friday when the Police launched an investigation to uncover her whereabouts.

Prior to the investigation, Justice Igbetar was said to have been declared missing as she was unresponsive to calls and no one knew her whereabouts.

This led the Police to begin a thorough investigation which resulted in the eventual discovery of her corpse.

In a recent development, a man named Aondohemba Joseph has been arrested in connection with the demise of the retired Justice.

The suspect was arrested in Makurdi following Police investigations.

Confirming the arrest of the suspect in relation to the passing of 73-year-old Justice Margaret Igbetar, spokesperson for the Benue State Police Command, SP Sewuese Anene, in a statement released on Saturday said the suspect was in Police custody and that relevant evidence had also been recovered for thorough investigation.

Justice Igbetar, who retired from her position on October 17, 2015, was known for living a private life and rarely appearing in public.

Sources who live around her neighbourhood said that they hardly saw her or had any business with the slain justice as she rarely needed or had anyone around her.

SP Anene’s statement reads, “On August 24, information was received at the ‘E’ Police Division Makurdi, reporting that Justice Margaret Igbetar (rtd) was unresponsive to calls and her whereabouts were unknown. Detectives were promptly dispatched for an investigation.”

“During a search of her residence on Wantor Kwange Street, Gboko Road, Makurdi, her lifeless body was discovered in her kitchen, surrounded by blood. It was observed that she had sustained deep cuts on her back.”

“The investigation led to the arrest of one Aondohemba Joseph, along with the recovery of evidence for thorough examination,” the police spokesperson mentioned in the statement.

The State Commissioner of Police, Bartholomew Onyeka, is quoted in the statement condemning the heinous act. He has pledged to uncover the truth behind the incident and ensure those responsible for this barbaric act face justice.

Born on October 17, 1950, in Mbape, Shangev-ya, Tsar-Mbaduku, in Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue State, Justice Igbetar began her career as the Assistant Registrar at the Grade I Area Court in Katsina-Ala, Benue State, in 1971. She rose through the ranks to become a Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal in 1995. She later served as the President of the court from 2003.

Justice Igbetar was an integral part of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in Benue State, serving as a founding member, a life member, and the first Chairperson of the Benue branch. She was also a National Trustee of the association.

Throughout her career, she served on various election petition tribunals and committees, contributing significantly to legal matters within the country.

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