The police have arraigned 36-year-old lawyer Abasiesebanga Ikoiwak and five others over the alleged murder of her husband Godwin Ikoiwak.
The deceased, 41, was said to be a counsel at the Akwa Ibom Ministry of Justice before he was allegedly killed in January 2022.
The matter was before the Uyo High Court. It was alleged that the couple was having issues over the wife’s alleged infidelity before he died.
The deceased was further alleged to have reported the matter to his wife’s family who invited him to a meeting in their compound at Nung Udoe Itak, Ikono Local Government Area.
Godwin allegedly went to the meeting but did not return alive.
Anyanwu, the seventh prosecution witness, also said the late Godwin told him that his wife was having sexual relations with her former boss, a legal practitioner.
Godwin was also alleged to have told his Anyanwu that his wife lived with a Catholic priest, Fr. Maurice Mbeke, in her teenage years as a housemaid and the priest impregnated her, adding that they had a child who was now 19-year-old named after his maternal grandfather.
According to the prosecution witness, the late Godwin did not know that the boy who has been living with him in his house for years was his wife’s son, because the wife said the child was her younger brother.
He said the deceased told him that each time his wife said she was pregnant, she would leave the house until after the delivery of the baby.
The prosecution team led by the state director of public prosecution, Joseph Umoren, tendered the audio recordings of the phone conversation between the witness and his late friend as an exhibit after they were played in court.
Abasiesebanga is standing trial alongside her 66-year-old mother Margaret Umoh; her brother, Owoidoho Umoh; a Catholic priest, Fr. Gabriel Ekong, 51; and a medical doctor, Isaac Njoku over an allegedly false report on the cause of death of Ikoiwak.
Barr. Abasiesebanga narrates her side of the story.
She said: “I do not have a hand in my Late husband’s death and I have no reasons to have killed my husband, we had no quarrels, we had no fights, we even did not have any misunderstanding to have warranted me plotting his death.
“If I know of or be a part of anything that led to my husband’s death, may God punish me, may God make me run mad.
“My Late Husband worked in Uyo, while I work in Calabar. We only interchange visits. My husband who visited us last Christmas left me with the kids and returned to Uyo on the 7th of January, 2022. Following his return to Uyo, my husband and I maintained cordial and effective communications over the telephone.
“Few days preceding the murky day of his demise, I sent my late husband an N500 recharge card after he jokingly said, you women don’t always give. He received the recharge unit with appreciation and teasingly he said, ‘After now, you will look for a way to get the recharge card back from me.’ Thus, we played over the telephone and of course, we were used to cracking jokes about every little thing. Those conversations are verifiable as they took place over our cell phones.
“In the early hours of the morning breaking Thursday, 20th January 2022, I had a call from my Husband who told me he was not feeling fine.
“Suspecting an asthmatic attack as my late husband had asthma which is usually very fierce and threatening whenever the attack comes, I assured him that I will be heading to Uyo to attend to him at daybreak. From what my late husband told me, he was asthmatic from a tender age, a medical history that is with the deceased’s family but which they have refused to inform members of the public about.
“I had barely entered Akwa Ibom enroute Uyo, when I got a call from my husband’s phone but this time, it was a strange voice who after identifying me asked me to come over to St. Lukes Hospital, Anua in Uyo, stating that my husband was there.
“Being so directed, I headed straight to Anua but to my greatest shock, on arrival at Anua, I found my husband already dead and lying at the Casualty Section of the hospital. I was frightened, shocked, and confused beyond words.
“I was motionless and lose my coordination, strength failed me, not knowing what to say or do or even where to go to, I didn’t know who to turn to. I managed to ask some questions as to how my husband got there and what happened to but there was no response.
“I searched for the man who used my husband’s phone to call me but couldn’t find him again. Initially, I had thought that the caller was a Doctor as he was also the person who led me to where the remains of my husband were when I arrived at the hospital but when I managed to put myself together a bit, I asked for the man’s whereabouts but he was nowhere to be found.
“The entire episode was, and it is still like a dream. To even make matters worse, a family of my late husband decided to add to my pains by lying to the world that I had hand in the death of my husband.
“My husband and I have been married since 2017 and the marriage is blessed with two kids the second of which was barely six months old at the time of my husband’s demise.
“I had nothing against my husband when he was alive, neither did he have anything against me. All the stories you are hearing or reading on social media portraying me as one who had trouble marriage or as one capable of actually killing or as having masterminded the death of my husband are cooked up lies and concoctions maliciously and desperately weaved together by the family of the deceased in expression and demonstration of unjustifiable hatred for me and in order to dispossess me and my children of anything they believe their brother and son left behind.
“In a demonstration of their unremitting wickedness, they also went to my Village and arrested my aged and sick mother alleging that she also has hands in the death of my husband.
“As though, they have not done enough, they found ways of robing my elder brothers alleging that they assisted me in attacking and killing my husband. Meanwhile, my brothers are very responsible and gainfully engaged men who work and live independently with their respective families outside the state. My said brothers have never lived with me or with the deceased.
“It is very heartless that they then turned their attention to my innocent aged mother who loves and cherished the deceased as her own son. They raised false and denigrating allegations against my mother who herself is a poor widow, got her arrested, and continued to persecute my family without a cause.
“How can any right-thinking person imagine me killing my own husband and father of my children, so as to be a widow and shoulder the arduous responsibility of catering for the family alone?
“When it was not easy with both parents, could it be easier with one? If, indeed, my husband was killed by anyone, his blood will hunt after his killers and God will bring the perpetrators of this dastardly act to judgement.
“My late husband’s family believe that they are very rich, powerful and highly connected people with unfettered access to every tool they need to decimate me and my family and this, they are doing wilfully and freely, even when they know that I am innocent of their allegations, but my God will vindicate me and all my persecutors shall see shame.
“St Luke Hospital, Anua, Uyo, still have not explained to me what happened to my husband, how he got into their hospital and how he case was handled and I also do not understand why the family of my late husband is making me go through so much pain and shame. I need justice for my late husband and I need justice for myself. I want to go home and take care of my two little children as they are all I have left.”BEWARE All Rights Reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without prior express written permission from Juliana Francis