Court resumes trial of Catholic priest, medical doctor over lawyer’s murder

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More facts have emerged in the trial of a 36-year-old lawyer, Abasiesebanga Ikoiwak and five others over the gruesome murder of her husband, 41-year-old Barrister Godwin Ikoiwak.

Until his death in January last year, Barrister Ikoiwak, a native of Eket Local Government Area, was a State Counsel at the State Ministry of Justice.

At the hearing of the matter before an Uyo High Court, a friend and classmate of the deceased in the Faculty of Law, University of Calabar, Barrister Sunny Anyanwu, said the deceased told him in a phone conversation a few days before his death that he and his wife, Barrister Abasiesebanga Ikoiwak were having issues over infidelity.

He said the deceased told him he reported the matter to his wife’s family, who invited him to a meeting in their family compound in Nung Udoe Itak, Ikono Local Government Area, but did not return home alive.

Barr. Anyanwu, the 7th prosecution witness, also said that late Barrister Godwin Ikoiwak told him that his wife, was having a sexual relationship with her former boss, a legal practitioner, Barrister C.I. Odoh.

He said the deceased husband told him that his wife had stayed with a Catholic priest, Rev. Father Maurice Mbeke, as a house help, and the Catholic priest impregnated her, and they had a child who is now 19 years old, named after his maternal grandfather.

According to the prosecution witness, late Barrister Ikoiwak did not know that the boy living with him in his house for a year was his wife’s own 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, he did not set his eyes on her until after the baby’s delivery when she would present it to him and say, “This is your child”.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Akwa Ibom State, Barr Joseph Umoren, tendered the audio recordings of the phone conversation between the witness and the late Barrister Godwin Ikoiwak as an exhibit which was admitted in evidence after the audio was played in the open Court without any objection by the defendant counsel.

The wife of the deceased, Barrister Abasiesebanga Ikoiwak, is standing trial alongside her mother, 66-year-old Margaret Patrick Umoh, her brother, Owoidoho Patrick Umoh, a Catholic priest, 51-year-old Reverend Father Gabriel Ekong and a medical doctor, Isaac Njoku who are charged issuing false report on the cause of death of Barrister Godwin Ikoiwak.

The Court presided over by Justice Bassey Nkanang has adjourned the case to Thursday, 20th April 2023, for continuation of hearing.