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Wife petitioned against businessman’s alleged abuse before her death, Police tell court 

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ARINZE NWAFOR, GLORIA EZELE 

A police officer, DSP Fetuga Olatunji, has told an Ikeja High Court that the deceased wife of a businessman, Ikechukwu Ogbonna, wrote a petition alleging abusive behaviour from the defendant, days before her death.

Olatunji, on Monday, gave his evidence for the case of the prosecution against the businessman and CEO of IVD Autos Limited, Ogbonna, who is being tried on amended charges including causing death by threat.

The witness, Olatunji, said the office of the Assistant Inspector General (AIG), Zone 2 Command Headquarters, assigned him a petition from the defendant’s late wife, Abimbola Ogbonna, against her husband.

According to the witness, Abimbola originally made her petition against the defendant, her husband, on October 6, 2022, at the Ajah police station.

In the petition by the deceased, she accused her husband of offences including attempted murder, domestic violence, a threat to life and conduct likely to cause a breach of peace.

Olatunji said that the petition was signed by one ‘Bimbo Martins, the mother of the deceased, as the deceased was not in a good state.

The witness told the court that the AIG’s office learned of the death of Abimbola two days after it had sent a wireless message requesting a transfer of the case file and the suspect to Zone 2 Command HQ.

Olatunji gave evidence-in-chief from the police that contained the Certified True Copy of the petition by the Late Abimbola.

When the prosecutor, Adeshola Bello, asked the witness why he was in court, he said, “We [the police] want to ensure justice for the deceased.”

Olatunji said other documents in the case file included statements of the witness to the complainant, a copy of the petition and a copy of the signal to the Ajah Police Station.

During the cross-examination of the witness by the defence counsel, Victor Ogunde, SAN, asked Olatunji whether the police investigated the death of Abimbola.

The witness replied in the affirmative. 

Further, Ogunde, SAN, asked the witness whether there was a police report on the investigation.

Olatunji said there was no police report because the police could not conclude their investigations into the death of Abimbola.

Justice Modupe Nicol-Clay adjourned the matter to December 13, 14 and 19, 2023, for the continuation of the proceedings.

The State arraigned Ogbonna on Monday on a one-count charge of involuntary manslaughter, after his wife died as a result of a fire incident at the couple’s residence in Lekki, on October 12, 2022.

Ogbonna pleaded not guilty to the offence contrary to Section 229 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State.

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