Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Nigerian man Prince John held for rape in Bangalore

By Linda Ikeji

A Nigerian man has been arrested for raping a Manipuri girl who was a nursing student in a city college. The accused, apparently, was the boyfriend of the victim's aunt.

The Bangalore police arrested the accused - Prince John, aka Johnson, 31 - on Sunday. He has been remanded in 14 days of judicial custody by a local court.

"The accused raped the victim on May 13 in Bangalore. He had threatened her with dire consequences if she went to the police. Later, the victim fled to Mumbai and lodged a complaint with the police there.

 The case was transferred to us and we arrested Prince John," said Bangalore rural superintendent of police D. Prakash.

According to the police, Prince John, who is in Bangalore on a student visit, befriended the victim's aunt a few months ago. On May 13, the victim and her aunt visited Prince John at his residence.
"Subsequently, he told his girlfriend (victim's aunt) that he would take her (victim) for an introduction to a friend, who would help her solve a personal crisis. He took the unsuspecting victim to a house where he raped and threatened her," the police added.

The victim is now undergoing treatment at a hospital in Mumbai.
The incident has caused unrest among the North East student community. In April, the death of Manipuri student Richard Loitham and the shoddy investigation by the police in the case had led to a countrywide uproar.

This is not the first time that African students have been nabbed for crime-related activities. Earlier this year, two African students were arrested for fighting in public glare over a girl; another six African students, under the influence of alcohol, had attacked the traffic police.

In Bangalore, nearly 2,000 students from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Congo, South Africa, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameron, and Sudan are studying in various colleges, according to Union of African Communities of Bangalore. Some of them allege harassment by the police for trivial reasons.

"Now, managing both, students from North East and Africa, has become a sensitive issue. But we will allow law to take its own course," the police added.

Source Indiatoday 

Monday, 28 May 2012

Child Sex Horror .The online pictures that shocked the world



By JIBRIL MUSA and OMOTOLA OLAIFA

If you think child pornography is merely internet-based and a perversion that is prevalent in faraway foreign countries, then you have to change your opinion after watching this sordid video that was allegedly recorded somewhere in Warri, a major city in the Niger Delta. Those who watched this video were filled with dismay, disgust and disbelief mixed with a quantum of rage.
The child porn video, four and half minute-long, shows two young children – a girl of about 11 years old and a boy not quite five years old, both of them stark naked, actively engaged in an orgy of  sex. The debauchery, which took place inside a makeshift structure, was discreetly recorded by a ‘peeping tom’ who later uploaded the sickening video. According to scant information, the sinful act took place on May 18, somewhere in Iyara, Warri, Delta State.
What is most amazing about the dirty act is that the delinquents neither fumbled nor bungled their wild experiment with sex. Rather they carried on like “kid porn pros”, doing the unthinkable and exploring sex in ways and manners beyond their years. With the girl taking the lead, the boy acquiesced and complemented her posturing that saw them making out various positions, which included mutual masturbation and oral sex. The whole sequence speaks volume about prior rehearsals and repeated intercourse that may have become a habit and a pastime.
The obnoxious child sex video not only annoyed and shocked Nigerians, but it also triggered strong emotions, similar to the furore generated by the infamous ABSU five gang rape video. Since it hit the blogosphere during the week, it has sparked an online frenzy on Twitter, Facebooks and BlackBerry Messenger.
Many parents have been venting their angst and anger. Adebayo Asonibare, a 46-year-old businessman was very visceral about his feelings: “When I first heard about it I thought it was a joke, but I checked it out on a link sent to my BBM. And I was dumfounded. The professionalism displayed by those two kids, means they must have been watching pornographic content somewhere. God help us. What is this world turning?” he exclaimed.
For Uchechukwu Nwosu, a secondary school Biology teacher, it was a wake up call: “I left my office and went home at break time, and I first ransacked my children’s room. Thank God, I didn’t find anything incriminating in their room. Just yesterday, I unsubscribed the BBA channel from our DSTV. You never can tell where these our young children get these toxic ideas from. After seeing that horrible video, I knew those children have been watching too much pornography somewhere.”
Cecilia Njoku, 43, a mother and a full housewife referred to the video as ‘a gory sight’.  She asserted: “To be candid, I really don’t know what to say. Seeing the four minutes sad video makes me sick. I couldn’t even finish it. Even now, I feel like spitting and vomiting.  How could a 4-year-old boy have erection? How could a 14-year-old girl understand sex so much that she couldn’t control herself? Personally, I think their parents should be blamed for the devilish act because they must have seen their parents in action to have been able to know all they know about sex. It’s obvious their parents neglected the area of sex education because if they do, they would have known that sex is not meant for children. The parents of the kids should be properly dealt with if found because, as it is, they are the core culprits of the shameful act that their children exhibited. Honestly, the night I saw the video, I felt like reaching out to their parents. I mean, this is really bad. It is very disgusting and disappointing. We need to find solution to things like this so that they don’t happen again.”
Another woman, Maureen Okonkwo, 47, a business woman avowed that when she saw the video, “I was almost in tears.” She said: “The video demoralised me on that day. I think parents need to be careful about their children’s wards. I mean, this is simply crazy and sickening. What could be more appalling if not such a horrific act? It simply shows she has been having sex for a long time. I actually care less if she wants to ruin her life, but why choose the small innocent boy when there are so many mature guys out there looking for free sex? I just pray she’s not HIV positives because it will be unfair to that little boy who seems to have been enjoying the whole thing. Sincerely, ghetto life can be horrible because I can imagine that their parents must have been out to get them food. So, tell me, how will they have time to know what is going on in their children’s lives? God help us and I pray the appropriate authorities see this video and do something about it. The girl needs deliverance and help.”
On the other hand, many enraged readers and viewers turned their anger against the anonymous person who recorded the video. While many castigated the faceless culprit, others cursed him. Currently, an effort has been launched to unmask the anonymous person who instead of chastising the erring children chose to record their sinful action.
A petition trending among Nollywood stars reads: “How many of my dear friends are in this with me? ...It [the video] was sent through a weblink. I am talking with some child rights group already. Whoever did the recording is an adult. It is the greatest form of child abuse as far as I am concerned for an adult to film this whole sordid details without stopping the act... Weblinks can be traced. I want us to stand together to insist that the relevant authorities must investigate this and those culpable must be brought to book. I have not had any peace since. I am set and ready to champion this cause. I believe you should be too. I will start with my name. Please add yours and let’s see how many names can be signed up to prove to the authorities that we want justice.”

‘The kids need deliverance’ –Pastors

DEACONESS AGNES OBEY
(REDEEMED CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF GOD)
This is just to tell you that the coming of God is near. These days we see all kind of things happening in the society. Even in the church, terrible things happen.  It simply means God is coming anytime soon. I am a mother with kids. Believe me when a contact sent me the broadcast message about the video last week, I was shocked and it made me more vigilant about my wards. I suspect the person who had the guts to record the video for that long because I couldn’t even finish watching it. My advice for parents is this:  Please children are blessings from God, once you spoil them now; you can’t recover from the damage. And Bible says, teach your child so that he or she would give you rest.

REV. EMMAUNEL OSAGIE
(GENERAL OVERSEER, RESURRECTION MINISTERY)
Oh my God! This is satanic. It’s a demonic act. At the moment, I feel disgusted and I am afraid this will destroy the lives of these children. Let me clear you on this note, the kids are possessed. Before you called, one of our pastors told me about it. But I have some questions about the video.  How come the person who recorded the video had the presence of mind to go on with it for that long? Aren’t we supposed to be questioning his motive? That girl is an infant just as the boy is. She and the younger boy need to be protected and taken to a rehabilitation centre or church for deliverance. They must be possessed because it is obvious that it is the devil that is controlling them.  To be candid, I find it hard to refer to that clip as an act of “molestation” because it seems the boy was aware of most of the things he was doing.
Several names have already been appended to this virtual petition. The list includes Omonitie Omozele, filmmaker Fidelis Duker and erstwhile national President of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) Segun Arinze, among others. They vowed not to relent until the faceless person behind the video has been caught and brought to book.
Source: Entertianment Express Nigeria

Pastor impregnates 15year old girl


A 28-year-old pastor of the Assin Awisem Spiritual Miracle Church in the Assin North District, Stephen Mensah, has been charged before the Assin Fosu District Magistrate Court for defiling and impregnating a 15-year-old junior high school student.

According to the facts of the case, the pastor took advantage of the girl after an all night in the church to commit the offence.

The court was told that in January, this year, after an all night service officiated by the pastor had ended deep in the night, the pastor convinced the girl whose house was far away from the church to pass the night with him in his house.

The victim obliged and accompanied the pastor to his house where the accused gave the victim a separate room to sleep.

The prosecution said after some time, Mensah went to invite the victim to join him in his room as the cold night was not conducive for her to sleep alone.

Mensah, whose wife was not home at the time, took advantage of the girl and slept with her.

The victim told the court that Mensah slept with her on six occasions resulting in her three-month old pregnancy.

The pregnancy was detected by the victim’s mother in April, this year, who informed the victim’s grandfather.

Mensah admitted the offence in his caution statement to the police and was therefore charged with the offence and arraigned.

Source.
MIRROR

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Nigerian school teacher faces jail time in UK for rape of 14 year old pupil



47 year old Nigerian married father of three, Keith Ogunsola, (pictured above) a science teacher from Banstead in Surrey, has been told  by a court in the UK that he will go to jail for a long time for the rape of a 14 year old student in his school.

Mr Ogunsola is accused of repeatedly raping the unnamed pupil under the pretense of giving her "extra science tuition". He would book hotel rooms and lure the female victim there, where he would proceed to have sex with her. The court heard yesterday that Ogunsola started raping the girl in 2001 but she didn't tell anyone for a long time because she didn't think anyone would believe her story against a teacher.



This is the first time the paedophile teacher will be in court. In 2008, he grabbed a 14-year-old pupil and stuck his tongue in her mouth while they were in his school office. Ogunsola also asked girls in his chemistry class whether they had performed oral sex.


The court heard he had already been warned by the school's headteacher about his conduct with female students before the assaults took place. Ogunsola was cleared of two sexual assaults at that school in 2000 and another sexual assault at a different school in 2006.

Despite this, he was spared jail because of his "weak heart". But not this time. He was told in court yesterday by the presiding judge that he will be going to prison for a very long time.


Source: http://lindaikeji.blogspot.com

Monday, 21 May 2012

Man beats girlfriend to death in P-Harcourt

By Vanguard
PORT HARCOURT — A man, identified as Obinna Eze, weekend, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, beat his girlfriend to death.
State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Indabawa, who confirmed the development to Vanguard, said the suspect had since been arrested.
He said the matter would be transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department, CID, for further action.
He regretted that the incident came weeks after a similar case in Diobu area of Port Harcourt, where a man allegedly killed his girl and buried her in his one room apartment. The Police had to exhume the corpse.
The state Police boss appealed for timely information from residents of the state to assist the Police to effectively combat crime.
He said the corpse of the girl, who was allegedly killed by Obinna, had been deposited at a morgue in Port Harcourt.
Indabawa said: “One Obinna Eze killed his girlfriend, one Idara, in the early hours of Saturday by beating her to death at his residence.  The suspect has been arrested and detained in Borokiri, and the deceased conveyed to BMH mortuary. The matter has been referred to the Criminal Investigations Department, CID.”

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Press Release On Mercy Nnadi Victim of Burns

09 May, 2012

On the 07 of April, 2012, Mercy Nnadi 38yrs became a victim of domestic violence when her husband Henry Nnadi 38yrs burnt her with hot iron for allegedly sleeping with his 65-year-old father. Henry who is currently in confinement at Kirikiri prison Lagos, is also alleged to have killed their 1yr old son Ebuka.

Mercy  is still in excruciating pains as a result of the intensity of burns she sustained from the hot pressing iron her husband placed on all over her body. The third degree burns she received may have done extensive damage to her body and she urgently needs financial assistance to help her get specialized medical treatment like skin graft surgery 


While the New Evolution Hospital Okota, where Mercy Nnadi was initially admitted helped in stabilizing the victim, it is now crucial that she is seen by a Burns Specialist as she would need skin grafting surgeries

Project Alert on Violence against Women, in collaboration with Centa for Organizational Development (COD) Nigeria and Zahara Women Foundation are working around the clock to ensure the victim gets specialist medical care for her third degree burns. In view of the ongoing strike by doctors and other health workers in Lagos State, these organizations, have been trying to identify a Burns Surgeon with any of the major government hospitals, such as LASUTH, IGBOBI and LUTH, to attend to Mercy in a Private Hospital. Arrangements for this is almost finalized, as a Burns Surgeon has been identified, and mercy would soon be moved to a private clinic is consults for.

Dr. Josephine Effah-Chukwuma with Mercy Nnadi @ the hospital
As evidenced from the picture above, Mercy requires the burns to be monitored closely, for them to heal well, and thereafter, skin grafting, particularly in her breast and chest region which seemed to have defied all manner of treatment. Her thigh, from where skin should be gotten for grafting, is also burnt and needs healing.

The road to recovery for the victim is a long and very difficult one which requires extensive medical and emotional care. She needs our financial support and prayers to help her go through the difficult times ahead.

Mercy Nnadi @ New Evolution Hospital Okota
To help meet the victim’s medical expenses, an account has been set up for her and we are appealing to well meaning Nigerians and organizations to support the victim with whatever they can, as no amount is too small.

Account Name:
PROJECT ALERT - MERCY NNADI
Account No: 1013015180
Zenith Bank, Ojodu Branch.

Donations made to this account, would be published on the website of the three organizations partnering to ensure that Mercy survives this horrible ordeal. WE COUNT ON YOUR SUPPORT.


Signed

Josephine Effah-Chukwuma (Executive Director, Project Alert)
Nkiru Okoro (Executive Director, COD)
Rosemary Mukoro (Zahara Women)

I was under a spell, says 69-yr -old man who allegedly axed wife to death

Ordinarily, his frail look will readily counter the offense for which he is  being held. But he is stronger and even much younger in speech, albeit his age.  Pa Mathew Agbe is 69 and a security guard with the National Museum Benin city,  the Edo state capital. Sadly, he may be confined in prison custody for the  remaining part of his life, for a first degree murder except the court says  otherwise.
Pa Mathew is being held by homicide detectives at the Edo state Police  command for allegedly axing his wife of 42 years to death. Although the Edo  state born father of one said he could not actually say what came over him that  ill-fated day, leading to grabbing an ax which he ended up using on his loving  wife, Alice.
But he was able to trace the beginning of the strained relationship between  him and Alice, a woman he married in 1970, to the period he was bestowed with  the title of Odionwere which in Bini language means, head of his community in  security matters. He said his late wife had mistaken the title for one that  should be accompanied by cash reward and therefore, made ceaseless demands for  money.
“Each time she requested for money and I said I do not have, she would mock  me saying I am only Odionwere for nothing, she would say, ‘ Mr. Odionwere who  has no money to feed his wife’.
That derogatory manner of calling him Odionwere, Pa Mathew continued , was  the beginning of the trouble between him and his wife which eventually led to  her death. He was quick to point out that Odionwere as a title may be a mixture  of fame and diabolism, insinuating that it could have been mischievously  bestowed on him by members of his community in order to undo him.
“Like I told you, I loved my wife so much even though she has only a daughter  for me. That child has made us grandparents today. That I had to conceive a  murderous idea at this age when I needed her companion most is something I can  not really say.
We met and got married in 1970 and have lived happily together. We used to  have minor misunderstanding but it does not last because of the love we had for  each other. The recent deep-rooted hatred and animosity that finally culminated  into murdering my wife of 42 years started with the title ‘Odionwere’. I think  the title came with evil.” he lamented
Continuing, Pa Mathew said, “As a security guard with the National Museum and  monuments Benin city, I was contented with the little I get and my loving wife  never complained. But from the very day I was bestowed with the title,  everything we cherished together fizzled out.
My wife no longer respected me; she was always asking for money and each time  I said I had none she would make mockery of me and call me names. Go to Okonokpa  street Benin where I live and inquire about me, you will hear what people will  say. I am not a trouble maker, I am always contented with whatever I have and  above all, I had a wife who understood me until recently.
But it got to a stage when I could no longer bear the insult from her. So  that day, after she asked for money and I said I didn’t have, she mocked me as  usual. I waited patiently for nightfall when she would have gone to bed. When  she was asleep, I went and grabbed her by the neck and pulled her to the  ground.
While she was struggling to free herself, I reached for the ax nearby and hit  her several times on her head and neck. She became motionless with blood gushing  out from her mouth, neck and eyes. At that point, I became afraid and quickly I  threw away the ax and bent over her begging for forgiveness.
But by then , she was dead. It was at that point that I realized I had killed  my wife; the only person I cherished in life! Confused, I called out to  neighbors that I had killed my wife. That was how the police came into it. I did  not mean to kill her, I still believe it was not ordinary and that the Odionwele  title came with a spell. I regret my action.”
No matter how pathetic Pa Mathew’s tale might sound, the police, through its  public relations officer, ASP Etim Bassey said the law would have to take it’s  course. “It is possible that the man was actually under a spell like he claimed  but it is not our duty to decide. Only a court of competent jurisdiction can  decide to set him free or otherwise,”he stated.

Source:

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

I Slept With My Daughter But I'm Not Responsible For Her Pregnancy – Father Confesses

none "Describe it with whatever adjective; incest, abomination, absurdity, one thing is clear: for a father to conceive in whatever guise, strip his daughter naked and sleep with her, the same daughter who is a product of his semen is nothing short of insanity.

In fact, this man (points at Mr. Okeke) is a goat. I think if there is anywhere worse than hell, not the Nigerian prisons, that is where this man deserves to go,” remarked an angry woman police Sergeant.

 Staring into space as if lost in thought while betraying emotions, Mr. Peter Okeke, a 60 year old Imo state born security guard portrayed a vivid picture of the biblical defenceless lamb led to the slaughter; as policemen, women and even visitors to the command rained curses on him for his abominable deed which on the long run claimed the life of his eighteen year old daughter, Adaobi. 

All he could do at the commencement of this interview was beg for forgiveness. “I want everybody, even government to forgive me. I know what I have done is bad, but to err is human and to forgive, divine. She was my daughter and I loved her until her death. I did not know what came over me the first day I slept with her. I think it was alcohol,” he lamented. 

Investigation revealed that Mr. Okeke the father of six, first had canal knowledge of his daughter when she was 13 and had been sleeping with her until late last year when the girl became pregnant. However, in between time, Adaobi was said to have picked a boy friend simply identified as Lucky and both of them were constantly seen together at Oha village, a suburb along Sapele road Benin city, the Edo state capital.

The lid was, however, blown open after Adaobi announced to her lover-boy that she was heavy with a baby for him. This did not go down well with Lucky who was said to have recalled to his girl friend that they never had it bare (without condom) together; not even once since they started dating.

To satisfy all righteousness, a blood test was conducted. And the result vindicated Mr. Lucky and of course, left Adaobi with no other alternative than to confess the reality to her mother

It was, therefore, obvious that Mr Peter Okeke was (most likely) responsible for Adaobi's pregnancy. The abominable act was reported at his home town and Mr. Okeke was invited to cleans the land but refused to appear before the elders of his community. 

Nine months later, Adoabi delivered a bouncing baby boy but died of jaundice shortly afterwards. Again, Mr. Okeke compounded his sin by secretly burying the baby all alone without consulting his kinsmen. Months after, Adaobi also fell ill and died. But an attempt to have her secretly buried without informing anybody, not even neighbours led to the invitation of detectives from the Homicide department of the Edo state command. 

Giving an insight to how he committed the act, a sober looking Okeke said, “Look at me, do I look like a criminal? The girl in question was my daughter and I loved her until her death. I wanted her to go to school but she opted for hair-dressing. I am ashamed of what happened.

"Yes, I agreed I slept with her when she was 13 and that was because their mother abandoned me. But I can swear by any thing that I was not responsible for her pregnancy. Until her death, she had a boy friend simply called Lucky, that boy is responsible for her pregnancy. When she told me that she was pregnant I asked who was responsible and she confessed to me that it was the same Lucky. 

"But since then, Lucky stopped seeing her. Even when she put to bed, I invited him but he refused to show up. I did the same when she died. It was like I was in a world of my own. When the matter of my affair with her was reported in my village, I could not go because I did not have enough money to travel. 

"I slept with her when she was 13 and even that period I did not find it difficult penetrating her which means she had been doing it. On that day, I took three bottles of beer and two shots of local gin called Ogogoro. So when I came in, I just removed my clothes and started f**king her. Adaobi was one of my six children until her death. I think the police is angry because I wanted to secretly bury her not because I slept with her. All I am pleading for is forgiveness; I am sorry.” 

What the law says: 
The offence of incest has no clear cut definition in the Nigerian laws but falls under offences against morality in the Criminal Code Act Cap 77, Laws of the federation of Nigeria 1990. Section 214 of the criminal coded defines offences against morality as: (a) Any person who has canal knowledge of any person against the order of nation, or (b) has canal knowledge of animal, or (c) permits a male person to have canal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature; is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years. 

The term “against order of nature” therefore, refers to either a father having sex with his daughter, a mother having sex with her son, a sister having sex with her brother, etc etc provided this is done to the extent of incongruity to the order of nature.


Report by: http://www.gistpage.com/abia/aba-north/news/viewpoint/132

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Mrs. Uzoma Nnanna Kalu a Victim of Domestic Violence Currently on life Support Needs Your Urgent Assistance


Mrs. Uzoma Nnanna-Kalu is in an Enugu neuro surgical hospital fighting for her life. She presented with neurological symptoms in February 2012 and has steadily deteriorated since then.
Her condition could be the result of blunt force trauma to the head and a resultant blood clot. The doctors are hesitant to confirm the diagnosis.
Her husband has refused to pay her hospital bill or to visit or care for his wife and the mother of his two sons since she was admitted om March 13, 2012.
The medical director has said he can no longer continue her treatment unless it is paid for upfront. Her drugs, oxygen and her hospital bed and care are approximately NGN40,000 per day.
We need to keep her in a stable condition while we go to court to compel her husband respect her fundamental rights to life and dignity by paying her outstanding accumulated bills and committing to a thorough investigation and treatment of his wife’.
In addition we are compiling necessary documentation to get an injunction restraining the hospital she is in from switching off her life support if she needs it.
Please help us. Mrs. Nnanna Kalu is paralysed from the neck down and cannot breath properly on her own. She has been taken off the ventilator and is currently being supported on oxygen which her family buys at NGN12,000 per cylinder and lasts 1 or 2 days depending on her needs.
We are also assisting the neuro surgeon with diagnosis by connecting him with neuro specialists around the world that can help read the test and image results and tell us more about her prognosis and the cause of her condition.
If you know a neuro pathologist or radiologist that would be willing to donate his time to look over Ms. AB medical records and results refer them to me through my email address or phone number.
You can send financial support to Women’s Crisis Centre. GT Bank Garki Branch Account Number 0023731452.
Your support will ensure timely legal action on her behalf and pay for daily medical costs arising from her care.
Please help us save a life.

Domestic Violence Is Unjustifiable

Published on March 12, 2012 by    ·   No Comments
Mrs. Josephine Effah-Chukwuma, Executive Director, Project Alert on Violence Against Women, tells NEHRU ODEH that there is no justification for spousal violence
• Josephine Effah-Chukwuma
What do you think are the causes of marital violence?
For marital violence, domestic violence, spousal violence or whatever people want to call it, the key thing is that the perpetrator or the victim are in a kind of family relationship. It could be marriage or birth relationship. I think domestic violence is as old as man. But just like every other form of violence against women, increasingly, people are talking about it and speaking out against it. Moreso, we are beginning to see very horrible cases. As recently as three weeks ago, I think it made the rounds–it was even in the news– that a woman used a pestle to hit her husband while arguing over baby food. But the sad thing is that for years, if we must be honest, women have been the ones on the receiving end and nobody took it serious. People think it is a mild matter; families laugh over it, blame the woman and accuse her of not being submissive or loving enough. They accuse the woman of being too intrusive, too impatient. Name it. They use the Bible: ‘a wise woman buildeth her house.’ I tell people that there is nothing in religious books, for instance, that says it should be condoned. But because it was happening and nothing was being done about it, the monster continued to grow and assumed very frightening proportions. And that is why you see a woman carrying a pestle to hit her husband, a husband stabbing the wife 20 times and claiming that he was possessed by a demon.

Are there laws protecting women in our society?
We use several legislation. Nigeria is one country that when you talk about law, we have lots of beautiful laws. Unfortunately, we just have them on paper. Though some of our current laws are not perfect, but if they are used and enforced the way they are, they will still provide a lot of succour. Talking about domestic violence for instance, our criminal code has a section on assault. It talks about different kinds of assault: assault occasioning harm, indecent assault, grievous bodily harm; with various penalties depending on their severity. But the major challenge this war on assault has posed in cases of domestic violence has been because of the extreme criminal nature of it. What do I mean by this? Because it is criminal in nature, if really it has to be followed the way it is stipulated in the law, a lot of men would be behind bars because the law on assault does not exclude assault in the home. It does not say on this law occasioning grievous bodily harm, if that grievous bodily harm is inflicted on the husband, it does not apply. But actually, women shy away from using the law because they don’t want to be seen as bad wives who took their husbands of many years and father of their children to court. They hold back because when their husbands are found guilty, they may be jailed for years—up to seven years, depending on the severity of the case. How many women want to subject the head of their family to that?

Do you think this problem can be solved?
There is no problem that hasn’t got a solution if the parties concerned are committed to finding a solution. But the important thing is there must be the political will to solve the problem by all stakeholders—be it government through legislation, by way of enforcement of existing legislation; and the family. There must be the will—that if there is a problem between our two children, let’s be truthful and solve the problem rather than take sides. There must be commitment on the side of religious organisations as well. If we are committed, we can totally end domestic violence.
Many attribute marital violence to stress, poverty, infidelity etc. What do you think are the causes?
These are all reasons and justifications people give. But really, for me, there is no reason for domestic violence. What people claim, for example, I am stressed; I am jobless; your husband is jobless so you should understand; she insulted my mother; my food was not ready on time; our bed was not well laid; she went out when I told her not to go out, etc. People say these things just to give excuses for heir shortcomings. Yes, these things happen. But nothing stops them from sitting down and discussing whatever problem may exist with their partners? Violence never ever stops the problem. That is one thing we must understand. If violence solves problems, the world would be at peace. Look at the violence that is happening all around the world. Are we at peace? We are not at peace. Violence never brings peace, whether at a micro or macro level. Violence never solves the problem. Dialogue, the communication channel between couples, should be left open. The truth is the major problem is communication break down—husband and wife are not relating enough. Some couples use letter to communicate with each other or they pass messages through their children: ‘Go and tell your father this’ or ‘go and tell your mother that.’ They are not communicating, they are not talking. And once the communication channel is blocked, there is bound to be violent conflict. And that is what we are seeing.

What are the effects of spousal violence on the family and society?
The greatest effect is on the children and we don’t stop to think about it. Some people will say that children from a broken home are the worst children. I say children from violent homes—homes where couples are still trying to forcefully stay together––are worse than children from broken homes because they are traumatised psychologically and physically. Sometimes, in the process of the couples fighting, they throw something that accidentally hits their child. For a boy growing up, he is made to believe beating the woman up is the only way to solve any misunderstanding with a wife.

How are other countries handling this problem?
It is still happening in other countries, even as we are talking. Violence against women generally and domestic violence, in particular, are not just a Nigerian or African problem. It is happening all over the world. Even in Asia, you have what they call dowry killing, for which family members kill their daughter because they feel she has disgraced them. You have various forms of spousal violence going on in various parts of the world. But the difference between developed countries and ours is that they are trying to respond to these issues. They have laws, which they are enforcing. They are setting up structures and institutions; they are making money available to deal with these issues, but we are not doing that here. We are just barely coming out of the denial phase. We were in the denial for a very long time. We are just trying to deal with that now. Even the government should budget for such things. That is why a lot of women are dying in silence. If I speak out and go to the police, they will not do anything, instead, they would send me back because justice in Nigeria is for the highest bidder—very expensive. A victim has experienced a crime, she goes to the law enforcement agents for help, she experiences secondary victimisation again and then, people are compounding the problem. It shouldn’t be. Once you report, the police should calm you down, take your case and attend to you. But that is not the case.

Marital Violence: The Secret Pains of Victims

Published on March 12, 2012 by    ·   2 Comments
Apart from deaths, immediate physical injuries and mental anguish capable of increasing future risk to ill-health are the lot of victims of marital violence

Until last year, Akolade Arowolo was only known to members of his family and circle of friends. Last June, the 30-year-old unemployed graduate leapt out of obscurity to unenviable national attention, when he was arrested for allegedly murdering his wife, Titilayo, a 28-year-old banker. Arowolo was not the first Nigerian man to kill his wife, but the vileness with which he allegedly carried out the act sparked a gust of public outrage. Arowolo, who is currently being prosecuted, was alleged to have stabbed his wife over 20 times before fleeing their home. Nelson Ekoh, lawyer to Titilayo’s family, said Arowolo used two knives and a hammer to kill the wife. One of the knives, he said, broke in her neck.
“At their home at 8, Dr. Akindehinde Street, Isolo, Lagos, an internal organ was found on the floor, her eyes almost gouged out and there are so many stab wounds on her body. There are about 20 stab wounds in her head and face alone, while there are several other stab wounds on other parts of her body,” claimed the lawyer. Arowolo continues to plead not guilty to the murder charge. Up till now, what drove Arowolo to grotesquely carve up his wife remains unknown. But there is no doubt that the marriage had been badly strained before Titilayo’s murder on 24 June 2011.
Odion Ukhoria’s case is slightly different. The 41-year-old man appeared before a magistrates’ court in Ebute-Metta, Lagos, to face murder charges. Ukhoria was arraigned for allegedly killing his wife, Ifeoma, at their residence. The cause of the disagreement that led to the tragedy was said to have been Ifeoma’s refusal to prepare eba, a meal of processed cassava, for his lunch. Ukhoria’s lawyer pleaded that his client may have committed the offence in annoyance. Ukhoria is currently in detention at the Ikoyi Prisons, awaiting trial.

On 31 January, Nkechi Ngene, a mother of two, who was eight months pregnant, was killed by her husband, a motorcycle spare parts dealer popularly known as Chico Chime in Akwuke Autonomous Community in Enugu State. Nkechi was said to have suspected that her husband was cheating on her and confronted him over it. This set him off, as he set upon her, beating her until she started bleeding profusely. Apparently scared by the havoc he had caused, Chico fled. Ngene, who kept bleeding, quickly called a friend, who rushed her to a nearby hospital. Two days later, she died. Chico has not been seen since then.

Last December, Ifeoma Iwuchukwu, 33, escaped death by a hair’s breadth, after her husband, Solomon, 54, attempted to strangle her at their residence at 21, Anthony Udoh Street in Ajao Estate in Lagos State. Ifeoma was also eight months pregnant. Solomon claimed that Ifeoma had denied him of sex, something that made him force his way into the room his wife was sleeping and attempt to strangle her. She was saved by her sister. Ifeoma, who said her husband was fond of beating her, claimed her marriage became strained after her husband returned from a European country and opened a sachet water factory at Sango-Ota in Ogun State. But the venture collapsed because of mismanagement, claimed Ifeoma, who said her husband blamed her for the collapse of his business.
However, Iwuchukwu told the Police that his wife had denied him sex since since he returned to the country. He claimed that she was always locking herself inside her room. Ifeoma explained that she only stopped having sex with Iwuchukwu because she was at an advanced stage of pregnancy. She claimed that the husband was aware of her history of miscarriages, but unwilling to consider that. “He doesn’t treat me as his wife at all and believes that I am his property to be used at will,” she lamented.
Spousal violence, however, is not a one-way street. On 18 February, Ifeanyi Anaekwe slumped and died after his wife, Chikodili, smashed a pestle on him at Ago-Okota, Lagos, during a scuffle. The scuffle erupted over the husband’s failure to buy disposable diapers and infant formula for their child. After Ifeanyi slumped, Chikodili stabbed him many times. Neighbours said the deceased, who was about leaving for work, had explained to his wife that he didn’t have enough money, which infuriated his wife.
Another marital tragedy caused by money was the one between one Abubakar and his wife, Hafsat, in Damaturu, Yobe State. The incident, which occurred last November, saw Abubakar bathe his 25-year-old wife with acid, following a disagreement over N7,000. Hafsat, who had been married to Abubakar for eight years, was said to have asked her husband to repay a N10,000 loan he was owing her. But he told her that he didn’t have the money. When Hafsat later checked his bag, she found N7,000 and took it. Abubakar insisted that she should return the money, but she refused. He then threatened to do something to her that would cost her more than the money. Abubakar did not carry out his threat immediately. He told the wife he was travelling to Potiskum. Whether he did or not remains unclear. But about 1 a.m., he returned home and bathed Hafsat with acid. “At first, I thought it was water. But the liquid became so hot and I realised that my face was damaged. That was when I was rushed to the hospital,” she lamented.

For Samson Igbinomewahin, a 47-year-old corporal attached to the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police in Lagos, the refusal of his wife, Susan, to fund his emigration to Malaysia merited an acid bath. On 9 March last year, at Block 8, Room 31, Obalende Police Barracks in Lagos, Igbinomewahin returned with a polythene bag which he said contained infant formula for their child. But when Susan saw the content, she fled. Igbinomewahin chased her and succeeded in pouring the dangerous substance on her through the window. Susan later claimed that her husband wanted to go to Malaysia and asked her to fund trip, with a promise that he would send for her to come over when he must have settled. When she said she could not afford to fund the trip, her husband suggested that she should sell her landed property and use the proceeds to fund his trip. She rejected the suggestion.

The circumstance that earned Susan an acid bath was similar to the one that claimed the life of Latini Audu, a primary school teacher in Daudu District of Jabba Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The couple had a disagreement over Latini’s refusal to collect a motorcycle loan offered to teachers in the school. Her husband tried unsuccessfully to get her to change her mind. He decided to kill her. One night, he locked their six children up in a room before stabbing the wife to death. He then set the house ablaze. Somehow, the children managed to escape and alerted the villagers. But the house had been razed before help came. Audu escaped only to be found later by a team of policemen dangling on a tree where he had hung himself.

Money was also the cause of the violent episode between Andrew Amonu and his 35-year-old wife, Ngozi. Last June, Amonu attacked Ngozi at their home in Oshodi, Lagos. The decade-old marriage was contracted when Amonu was affluent. He claimed he gave his wife N550,000 to start a business. Shortly after he gave the sum to Ngozi, claimed Amonu, his own business collapsed.
This, he explained, encouraged his wife to be disrepectful and wayward. He alleged that his attempts to stop her misbehaviour failed. Ngozi then moved to dump him by seeking a divorce at Oshodi Customary Court, where she claimed she no longer loved her husband. She also alleged that her husband had left her to shoulder every responsibility in the home, including the payment of the rent. Apparently feeling used, Amonu attempted to strangle her. When that failed, Amonu stabbed her in the face with a broken mirror. Further damage was prevented by the intervention of neighbours.
The experiences of some famous international music stars in the hands of their violent spouses also rankle. American soul singer, Tina Turner, could have been a dead figure now if she had remained with Ike Turner, her first and only husband. They married in 1960. For 16 years, Tina’s matrimony to Ike was hell, as Ike was always battering her. In 1976, she realised that if she must continue living, she should flee Ike’s home. And that was exactly what she did, splitting from him in 1976 and formally divorcing him in 1978. As she was to later capture in her best-selling album, What’s Love Got To Do With It (1984), love and common sense should be orphans in a violence-ridden marriage.
In contemporarry times, the story of Rihanna is also fresh in the memory of those who followed reports of her traumatic experience in her relationship with Chris Brown. It was pity all over the world some three years ago when photographs of Rihanna, allegedly badly bruised by Chris, flashed in news media. Although smitten with child-love for Chris then, Rihanna was compelled to sever the relationship to save her life.
Experts believe that intimate partner abuse, particularly those that end tragically, are somewhat encouraged by the victims, who fail to speak out because of shame, fear of losing their marriages or in obedience to certain cultural and religious prescriptions that oppose divorce. There is also the fear of what will happen to the children in the event of a divorce or separation. Dr. Olufemi-Kayode and Effah- Chukuma are of the view that lack of communication causes spousal violence more than any reason. “We have lots of issues of communication breakdown. We rarely communicate here. A man doesn’t communicate when he has issues. A woman, regardless of her education doesn’t speak up if she has issues she is not pleased with,” she averred.
Mrs. Josephine Effah-Chukwuma, Executive Director, Project Alert on Violence Against Women, blames societal pressure for women’s silence in abusive marriages or other intimate relationships. She said: “It is because of you and I. It is because of society. This same society of ours tells us what to do and what not to do; even on your wedding day, even right from when you are small. Even in church or in the court, when you are getting married, they will tell you don’t let a third party hear what is happening in your marriage; just be patient, bear it, pray it away. No matter how much you pray, you cannot pray away your problems. Even the Bible says that faith without action is dead,” she told TheNEWS.
Victims are also believed to remain silent because spousal violence is largely regarded as belonging to the private sphere by the police, except when it is fatal. Dr. Princess Olufemi-Kayode, Executive Director, Media Concern Initiative, said: “If I walk to a police station now and say I have just been beaten by my partner, they will tell me to go back home or they will try to bring in the man to try to mediate.”
She advised victims to quit such relationships before they get killed or maimed. “Just walk out of the relationship. The reason I am asking the person to walk out is not because I want to destroy any marriage, but I don’t want the person to die. They can say: ‘He has not hit me up to that level.’ But he has hit you until your head got stitched. The next time, you might recieve a knock and you may not come out of it,” she warned.
What are the causes of domestic violence and why does it persist? Dr. Kayode Taiwo of the Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan, identifies a number of factors.
“It has to do with personality, disposition and the cognitive. Cognitive is the way of mental processes. The affective is the emotional side, the feeling. For instance, someone may be on the quiet side and yet be violent. When such decides to vent his or her anger, it is going to be physical or verbal. But there must be underlying factors to what is seen physically and that becomes internal. For instance, individuals without good self-esteem may not be able to handle provocation. What might be provocative to one person might not be provocative to another. These are things we cannot see. The frame of mind, the cognitive, the mental state, the affective state could produce what is seen outside,” said Taiwo.
Professor Josephine Odey of the Department of Curriculum and Teaching, Benue State University, Makurdi, believes that a major cause of marital violence is the power relation that exists between men and women. “The woman is considered to be subordinate to the man. It is a cultural thing all over the world and then there is the issue of poverty,” she said.
Dr. Olufemi-Kayode and Effah-Chukuma are of the view that lack of communication causes spousal violence more than any reason. “We have lots of issues of communication breakdown. We rarely communicate here. A man doesn’t communicate when he has issues. A woman, regardless of her education, doesn’t speak up if she has issues she is not pleased with,” Effa-Chukwuma said.
Spousal or domestic violence also takes many forms. Experts define it as marked by any intentional and persistent abuse of anyone in a home in a way that causes pain, distress or injury. This could take the form of physical abuse – beating, kicking, choking; verbal abuse, sexual abuse, neglect (failure to provide for dependants); and economic abuse (defrauding, manipulating and exploiting intimate partners for monetary gains).
Reliable data on marital violence are either non-existent or not reliable enough to encourage accurate conclusions on its prevalence. But nobody thinks it does not exist.
In a survey conducted in Lagos by Project Alert in 2001, 64.4 per cent of 45 women interviewed said they had been physically abused by a partner (boyfriend or husband), 56.6 per cent of 48 market women interviewed admitted going through such violence. Similar interviews carried out in Oyo state and other parts of Nigeria, yielded similar results. The incidence of domestic violence is high.
Five years ago, a study carried out on the factors associated with domestic violence in Igboland revealed that 70 per cent of those interviewed reported abuse in their family, with 92 per cent of the victims being female and the remaining 8 per cent being male.
The most common forms of abuse identified were shouting at a partner (93 per cent), slapping or pushing (77 per cent) and punching and kicking (40 per cent).
Nollywood actress, Stella Damasus, believes that marital violence is rampant because the society does not consider it a big enough problem. In an emotion-laden article, When Is It Enough, published in PM NEWS, she told a story of a friend who was murdered by her husband. Damasus disclosed that before her friend died, her husband had battered her repeatedly. But each time she was battered, she would run to the pastor of her church for counselling. And the pastor would advise her to pray about it, that God hates divorce. “We had all prayed, complained, reported and fought, just to get him to stop beating her. I was tired of seeing the black eye, the swollen face, the bruised arms and the constant headaches. It was so bad that I had to tell him that one day he would do something really bad to his wife and end up behind bars. Little did I know that the day in question is approaching,” she wrote.
Damasus also bemoans the church’s attitude to wife battering. “My question today is: What does the church do in cases like this? Is it saying that because of doctrines, women should remain there and die? Is it saying that apart from prayer, there is no other way to help?” she asked.
The article drew a torrent of responses, particularly personal testimonies from victims. One Ngozi commented: “Thanks for bringing succour to the oppressed. It is only the living that can tell stories. Thank God I am alive today. Mine wasn’t a case of beating or as bad and pathetic as the story I just read. It is a case of oppression, humiliation, slavery and abandonment, just to mention but a few. I believe I will one day have the opportunity to tell my full story.”
Another respondent, named Adeola and based in Texas, United States, wrote: “I was in a similar situation, I never cried to any one. I knew deep down in my heart I made a mistake, but did not know how to go back to my family or cry for help. I never stopped praying. After losing two pregnancies in two years and crying myself to sleep and waking up in tears every day, I woke up like a possessed woman one morning and started hauling my things in my car. I left and he almost gave my phone a heart attack. He finally came to my parents’ house to see me, but obviously could not come inside. We became dependent on each other in a very unhealthy way. As always, prayers and support from my family and friends finally brought everything to an end. Leaving the abusive husband is the first step and most important. You still have to find yourself and know how to cope without him. I am happy and now have a fabulous career, engaged to another wonderful man.”

A male contributor, named Leonard Joshua, wrote that in 1982, he kidnapped an in-law who was always beating his immediate elder sister in Nnewi. That act, he claimed, stopped the assault his sister was going through in the hands of her husband.

Another lady named Oluwaseun wrote that she witnessed spousal abuse in her home as a child. “I saw it all in my parents. My mum, too, was quiet and just went along, but somehow they got separated. 

Now I am a grown woman and over the years, I have read stories, articles, research documents, etc about wife battery, causes and results. One thing that is common, especially in Africa, is that the woman does not want to be seen as having a failed marriage. There is also the fear of being a single mum, which is attributed to raising half-baked children, who turn out to be miscreants, prostitutes, etc in the society. It is so bad that one day I heard a pastor preaching and said a woman should never leave her husband else she will raise bad children.”

Olufemi-Kayode, however, advised that a mother who is alive, but not at home, is better than one that is dead. She insists that it is better to quit a violent marriage even when it has already produced children.

Effah-Chukwuma reckons that marriages cannot exist without conflicts, but suggests that effective management will stop such from becoming violent. “There will always be conflict. But the energy we channel towards resolving this conflict is what determines whether it is positive or negative. If we channel positive energy into it, we can, to a large extent, bring it to the barest minimum or even end it. It is possible to end domestic violence and promote dialogue, communication, alternative to violent causes between couples. You don’t need to carry a pestle and a gun at each other as if you are at a war front,” she said.

Last week, the government of the United Kingdom unveiled the Clare’s Law, a pilot scheme aimed at allowing women to find out about their prospective partner’s past, especially as it relates to gender violence. Asked how she sees the law, Olufemi-Kayode said that battery still persists in societies despite the laws that exist in them.

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