An Ebute Meta Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday remanded a Lagos auto dealer, Ikechukwu Ogbonna aka IVD autos, over the death of his wife, Abimbola Martins-Ogbonna.
The court remanded Ikechukwu following legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions indicating that he should be charged with involuntary manslaughter.
While reading out the DPP advice, Magistrate Kafayat Tella stated that the defendant would be arraigned before the Lagos High Court, and should be remanded in custody pending his arraignment.
The defence lawyer, Mr Abubakar Yesufu, however, prayed the court to allow the defendant to be released based on earlier bail conditions granted him.
But Magistrate Tella held that she lacked jurisdiction to entertain a case of involuntary manslaughter, hence all bail applications should be presented before the High Court.
The matter was adjourned till March 7, 2023.
Ikechukwu, a 37-year-old Lagos car dealer, was arrested by the Lagos State Police Command over the death of his wife, Abimbola, in the Lekki area of the state.
The defendant and the deceased were married for 16 years with five children.
The marriage, however, was fraught with disagreement and alleged domestic violence.
At the climax of their clash, the couple separated and later reunited.
However, on Saturday, October 15, there was a fire incident at their Lekki mansion, as Abimbola was caught in the inferno.
She was rushed to a hospital, where she died as a result of the injuries she sustained.
But the deceased’s family, while demanding justice, accused the police of cover-up, intimidation, and an attempt to force the family into an out-of-court settlement with Ikechukwu and also drop charges against him.
The family also alleged that the police changed Ikechukwu’s charges from ‘manslaughter’ to ‘negligence’ to grant him bail.
The family’s lawyer, Mr Odiana Eriata, who was in court, said the issue of domestic violence ought to have been properly investigated and an appropriate charge preferred against the defendant.