•Relatives demand cause of death from wife


From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo

The burial of the former Chief Judge of Taraba State, Justice Filibus Bitrus Andetur, has been suspended, indefinitely, following the demands by his relations for the wife, Mrs Destiny Courage, to disclose the “cause” of his death.

The elder brother to the late former Chief Judge, Chief Timothy Bitrus Andetur, who made the disclosure to newsmen, yesterday, in Jalingo, said the relations were not satisfied with circumstances surrounding the death of the former chief judge.

He, therefore, demanded the wife, who unilaterally took custody of the former chief judge before his death on March 21, 2024, to explain the cause of his death.

The elder brother of the late chief judge, who recalled that although a petition had already been submitted to the Commissioner of Police, Taraba State, further disclosed that Justice Andetur died under questionable circumstances. He said the late former chief judge’s wife denied the family members access to their brother for the over three months he was sick in Jalingo before she single handedly smuggled him to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Yola, where he died.

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“It is worrisome that even when the former chief  judge invited his nephew, Ayikwen Sam, on phone, to his house during his sickness, the wife invited the police who arrested and detained him, claiming that her husband had placed an order not to allow any of his relations come close to his house,” he said.

He regretted that the family only got to know about the death of their brother when the FMC Yola authority refused to accept the dead body at the mortuary, demanding the presence of the family members. Andetur said it was when the hospital refused to accept the body that the wife called some of his relatives in Jalingo and disclosed the news of his death. He said the relations in Jalingo, thereafter, advised her to go to the late husband’s village, Bika, near Takum, to break the sad news to the elders before any of the relations would have to accompany her to deposit the body in the morgue.

Timothy lamented that it was unfortunate that few days after the relations of the late chief judge moved the body to the FMC Jalingo, preparatory for burial, the wife barred family members from entering the compound, claiming that she contracted a court marriage and, therefore, must take possession of all the properties of the late chief judge.

He alleged that the way and manner the wife was “looting” the property of the late former chief judge, especially a Prado SUV and a Toyota Camry, which she moved out of the house on the eve of their travel to Yola before the CJ’s death, suggested that she had a hand in the death of the former chief judge.

“I want to place on record that this woman, Destiny Courage, is not the only wife of my brother. My late brother’s first wife, Mrs. Margaret Andetur, got married to late Justice Andetur in 1983, and the marriage still subsists because there has not been any legal divorce between them. Destiny only got married to my brother just three years ago and, now, she is fighting to take possession of all his properties after his mysterious death”.

Meanwhile, the wife of the late chief judge, in her petition to the commissioner of police, through her lawyer, Barrister Joshua Jeremiah, claimed that the relations of her late husband were threatening her life. She requested the police to prevent the relatives of late husband from entering their compound, claiming that the family members should allow her to mourn the death of her husband with her own relations.

The letter quoted the late CJ’s wife as saying that she legally contracted a ‘court marriage’ with her late husband, who told her before his death that  he had a serious misunderstanding with his own relations, and wouldn’t like to see them in his house.