Lagos Attorney-General Decries Increased Rate of Domestic Violence

The Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem has expressed dismay at the increasing number of cases of domestic violence leading to fatalities in the State.  

While briefing the Press on the case of the alleged murder of Symphorosa Otike Odibi by his wife Udeme Otike-Odibi at their Diamond Estate, Sangotedo, Ajah residence, the Attorney-General said the duplicate case file forwarded by the Police to the Ministry of Justice revealed components of domestic violence.

According to Kazeem, “This, to the State government is very disheartening as it appears that there are increasing cases of domestic violence leading to fatalities. The couple allegedly had several domestic issues which grew worse over time. People around the couple were allegedly aware of this acrimonious nature of the relationship but encouraged the couple to endure and resolve their issues”.

“On the 3rd of May, the situation degenerated to the point that his wife (the suspect in this case) allegedly threatened him with a knife and eventually stabbed him to death and went further to mutilate his body” he added.

He stated that following the Nigeria Police investigation into the case and subsequent review of the case file by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, the available facts established a prima facie case of murder contrary to the section 223, which is punishable by death.

It also established misconduct with regard to a corpse contrary to section 165(b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015, and punishable with five years imprisonment and section 165 (b) particularly creates an offence of Felony for cutting up or mutilating a human corpse just as we have in the case of the deceased person.

The Attorney-General stated that the trial of Odibi for the murder of her husband and mutilation of his corpse will commence before the High Court of Lagos State as soon as the case is assigned by the Chief Judge.

 Kazeem enjoined citizens of the State to promptly report cases of domestic violence to the Police, the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team or any other relevant authority to avoid unnecessary loss of lives.

He urged residents to dial the shortcode 6820 or 08137960048 to report such incidents and that of rape and child abuse.

The Attorney-General also assured Lagos residents that the Family Support Units of the various Divisions of Lagos State Police Command have been equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills to handle incidents of domestic and sexual violence.

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