On the 3rd of May, 2018, the People of Lagos State were shocked to hear the news that Mr. Symphorosa (Sym) Otike Odibi was allegedly murdered in his residence by his wife Mrs. Udeme Otike Odibi. The duplicate Police case file forwarded to us reveals components of domestic violence.
This is very disheartening as it appears that there are increasing cases of Domestic Violence leading to fatalities. The couple had allegedly had several domestic issues which grew worse over time. People around the couple were allegedly aware of this acrimonious nature of the relationship they were encouraged to endure and resolve their issues
Unfortunately, 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.
The matter was reported at the nearest Police Station and the Nigeria Police immediately begun indepth investigation into the case. Based on the facts disclosed in the duplicate casefile forwarded to this Office, Legal Advice was issued on the 21st of May, 2018 and information papers filed at the High Court of Lagos, Lagos Division.
The Directorate of Public Prosecutions issued Legal Advice stating that the available facts established a prima facie case of Murder contrary to section 223 punishable by death and Misconduct with regard to a Corpse contrary to Section 165(b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015 punishable with 5years imprisonment against the Suspect Udeme Otike Odibi (F). Section 165(b) particularly creates an offence of felony for cutting up or mutilating a human corpse just as we have in deceased person. Facts available in file reveal that the suspect, subsequent to her stabbing her husband, mutilated his corpse by cutting his genitals. The Suspect is therefore to stand trial before the High Court of Lagos State for the murder of her husband and mutilation of his corpse.
The trial of Mrs. Udeme Otike Odibi will commence as soon as the case is assigned to a Court by the Honorable Chief Judge. This office will ensure expeditious trial of this matter.
The Lagos State Government wishes to express its dismay at the rising rate of Domestic Violence in the State. Only last month, a Danish National allegedly killed his wife and child in Lagos State. That couple allegedly also had a history of Domestic Violence which culminated in the unfortunate murder of Zainab Ali-Nielsen and her child, Petra Nielsen. Only last week, the national dailies reported yet another case of a lover killing his live-in lover. The Good Citizens of Lagos are enjoined to fulfill their roles as compulsory reporters by ensuring that any case of Domestic Violence is immediately reported to the Police, Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team or any other relevant authority to avoid unnecessary loss of lives.
The DSVRT commissioned a research on 15th May 2018 on Domestic Violence and Mortality amongst intimate partners. We hope that the data received from the research will help us understand the pattern of incidents of Domestic Violence, the link between Domestic Violence and fatalities and how Domestic Violence can be curbed. Divisions of Lagos State Police Command have Family Support Units that have been equipped with the requisite knowledge and skill to manage incidents of Domestic and Sexual Violence. Lagos State residents can dial the short code 6820 or 0813-796-0048 to report incidents of Domestic Violence, Rape and Child Abuse to Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSRVT).
Emergencies can also be reported via our universal emergency line 112.
I wish to also use this opportunity to warn any citizen engaged in any form of Domestic violence to henceforth desist from such acts to avoid being brought under the full weight of the law. The Lagos State Government will not tolerate such behavior and offenders are hereby warned accordingly.