In a shocking turn of events, the Benue Police Command has confirmed the apprehension of Aondohemba Joseph in connection with the heinous murder of retired President of the Benue Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Margaret Igbetar. The 73-year-old jurist, who retired from her illustrious career on October 17, 2015, was discovered lifeless in her residence.
According to the State’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Sewuese Anene, the grim discovery was made on Friday when officers responded to reports that Justice Igbetar had not been reachable and was nowhere to be found. A subsequent search of her residence on Wantor Kwange Street, Gboko Road, Makurdi, unveiled her lifeless body lying in a pool of blood within her own kitchen. Tragically, she bore deep lacerations on her back.
The Commissioner of Police, Bartholomew Onyeka, expressed his deep condemnation of the appalling act. He pledged to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding the tragic incident and ensure that those responsible for this gruesome act are brought to justice.
Born on October 17, 1950, in Mbape, Shangev-ya, Tsar-Mbaduku, in Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue State, Justice Margaret Igbetar embarked on her legal career as an Assistant Registrar at the Grade I Area Court, Katsina-Ala, Benue State, in 1971. Her dedication and commitment propelled her to ascend the ranks, ultimately achieving the esteemed position of Judge of the Customary Court of Appeal in 1995. Her contributions were further acknowledged when she was appointed as the President of the court in 2003.
Beyond her legal accomplishments, Justice Igbetar played an integral role in advancing women’s rights and justice. She was a founding member of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Benue State, where she served as the first Chairperson of the Benue branch and earned the position of National Trustee. Her participation extended to pivotal roles in various election petition tribunals, adding to her legacy as a distinguished legal professional.
As investigations continue to unfold, the nation mourns the loss of a legal luminary whose impact resonated far beyond the confines of her courtroom. The circumstances surrounding her tragic demise remain under scrutiny, and authorities are resolute in their pursuit of justice for Justice Margaret Igbetar.