New Telegraph

Female lawyer’s four-year fight to secure justice for murdered woman

She may have been forgotten by her family members, friends and relatives who may have been missing her since 2018 when she was gruesomely murdered by one Lucky Godwin inside a hotel who is now paying for the crime, this woman whose identity was yet to be ascertained and still lying in the morgue may be very happy that justice has finally been secured for her. The woman and her then two-yearold baby girl were brought from Enugu to Crown Garden Hotel, Abakaliki where she was killed by Godwin and the baby girl stolen and sold by the accused who has been sentenced to death by hanging over the crime.

Bloody knife

Godwin murdered the woman with a knife provided for him by the hotel gateman, Monday Onwe who allegedly collected N30, 000 to assist Godwin in the act. Her baby was sold to one Mummy Sharon in Akwukabi Etche, River State who has been in prison over the matter. Godwin and Mummy Sharon have been in the business of stealing and selling babies after killing their mothers. The woman’s decomposing body was, however, found days after the murder. After stabbing the unknown woman to death, Godwin also attempted to murder a heavily pregnant woman, identified as Chisom Ugwu by stabbing her in a bush behind Girls’ High School, Azuiyikowu in Abakaliki and also stole her two year old baby.

Coma

The incident occurred on November 6, 2018. Chisom Ugwu was found in a coma in a bush behind Azuiyikowu Girl’s High School close to the Crown Garden Hotel where he had stabbed the other woman to death. Ugwu was stabbed on her neck, abdomen and back and was bleeding profusely. She was, however, rescued by police operatives and rushed to the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, following the alarm raised by a woman who went to farm in the area and saw Chisom lying half dead by bush side. The police commenced investigation into the matter and Lucky Godwin was arrested. The matter was almost treated with kid gloves by the security agency but for a female lawyer at the state Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Ijeoma Ajanwachukwu who vowed that justice must prevail on the matter.

Judgment

Ajanwachukwu, who is a Principal State Counsel, filed a suit on the matter in that 2018 and the case lingered in the court till this month when it was concluded and Lucky Godwin was sentenced to death by hanging. Delivering judgment on the matter, the trial Judge, Justice Iheanchor Chima condemned the crime.

Ajanwachukwu, hailed the judgment.

She said: “Like the court, rightly said an eye for an eye.” According to the judgment by the court, he will be hanged to pay for his deeds. He needs to pay with his life as he has taken the life of that young woman. “The child of the deceased and that of Chisom Ugwu were recovered including the accused person’s son that he sold at Echie Local Government Area of Rivers State.

“The second defendant was set free as according to the law, once there is an element of doubt it ends in favour of the defendant. “Yes, Lucky said the second defendant (Monday Onwe) was the person that assisted him according to his statement to the police but in court he denied it, saying he was just seeing him for the first time. The incident happened in 2018 and we filed information in 2019, so the case lasted for three years. “We need to be careful who we move with, like this deceased woman nobody could identify her, even the daughter that was recovered is still with the Ministry of Women Affairs,” she stated. Counsel to Lucky Godwin, Marcel Akamaba, said: “I work with the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria. The way the matter has ended, I will communicate with my office and know the next action to take.”

Difficult

Ajanwachukwu told New Telegraph that it was very difficult for her to secure justice for the deceased. “It was not an easy thing; it started in 2018 when the case file was assigned to me to prosecute. After going through it, it was only Lucky Godwin and the wife that were charged. So, going through the case file, I now saw that there was a woman, Mummy Sharon, one Janet Ekeh from Rivers State that Lucky steals and kills those women and goes and sells the children to this woman and this woman was not arraigned, she was not charged. “She was arrested and these children recovered from her. So, I went to the police, met with the Deputy Commissioner of Police then and told him that I can’t go on with this matter without bringing this woman because she needs to come and tell us how the child of the deceased was found in her custody, whether she was part of the team that killed that woman,” she stated.

Mummy Sharon

The lawyer revealed that it was very difficult to arrest Mummy Sharon from where she had fled to and bring her to Ebonyi State for arraignment. She said the Mummy Sharon even printed her obituary posters and claimed she had died which the policemen who went after her brought and showed her that the suspect was dead. Ajanwachukwu said she had to insist that her corpse must be exhumed to actually confirm that it was Mummy Sharon that had died. “All efforts made to get the woman arrested proved abortive because where they knew the woman in Etche, Rivers State, the woman had gone there and destroyed everything that linked her to the illicit business. Initially, I learnt she said she operated an orphanage home in Rivers but that the home got destroyed. But I insisted that this matter cannot go without bringing the mother, so I told the police that they must bring the woman (Mummy Sharon). “To their credit, the police made attempts to bring her but when they received the obituary posters; they concluded that she had died. But I told the police they must exhume her corpse, we want to see that the woman has died. I don’t know how the police got the information that the woman is living somewhere in the bush near Owerri where she relocated. So, police tracked her and she was finally arrested and brought to Abakaliki and charged along with Lucky Godwin and his wife. “So, I pushed the case for murder because the woman was the person that usually received the children. Lucky first of all sold his son Emmanuel to the woman before he started getting other people’s children, luring them and selling them to Mummy Sharon. So, Lucky’s son, Chisom Ugwu’s daughter and also the deceased daughter were all recovered from Mummy Sharon. “Three of them stood trial at the Family High Court for child stealing, child selling and child buying. Lucky has three warrants; one is for the murder of this unknown woman, two is the attempted murder and killing of unborn child of Chisom Ugwu pending in the court and this other one of child stealing.

Abakaliki

“The reason why he was arrested and brought to Abakaliki was because of the case of Chisom whom he wanted to kill. So, it was when he was arrested when Chisom regained her consciousness that she told the police that she knew the man that wanted to kill her and mentioned Lucky. Lucky told Chisom that he will take her to Port Harcourt where she will give birth and the woman will not collect money and take care of the child. Two days after her arrival, there was another woman that was pregnant. “When she was put to bed, Mummy Sharon took the baby and handed the woman over to Lucky according to their statement and asked Lucky to do away with the woman and Lucky till today, could not account for where the woman is. Meanwhile, her child had been sold. “When this thing happened, Chisom was so afraid and didn’t want to stay in Port Harcourt again, she said wanted to go back to Enugu. It was on their way to Enugu, that Lucky brought her back to Abakaliki and lured her into the bush where he stabbed her severally and left her there thinking she was dead.

Drinking blood

“Lucky drank the woman’s blood before leaving the bush and tied her with a wrapper. It was a woman that came to the farm in the morning and saw her that raised the alarm. Police were contacted and they came to the bush and took Chisom to the hospital where she was given serious medical attention. When she regained consciousness she narrated what happened to her.”

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