Home News Crime Lagos opposes Ogonna’s bail application over wife’s alleged murder

Lagos opposes Ogonna’s bail application over wife’s alleged murder

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Lagos State Government has opposed the bail request of Mr Ikechukwu Ogbonna, who is currently languishing at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre for a charge of involuntary manslaughter following his alleged complicity in the circumstances which led to the death of his wife, 35-year-old Mrs Bimbo Ogbonna.

On 31 January 2023, a Lagos State Magistrate Court had remanded Mr Ogbonna at Ikoyi Correctional Centre pending his formal arraignment on a charge of manslaughter of his wife.

Bimbo died following severe burns inflicted on her in a fire incident at their home, while her husband rather than call for rescue was allegedly seen video recording the burning house from outside the premises.

Despite this sad development, Ogbonna was still allowed to breathe the air of freedom until Amnesty International and Men Against Rape Foundation (MARF) made interventions on the matter.

While the Executive Director of MARF, Mr Lemmy Ughegbe exhibited persuasive and compelling evidence at a media briefing, which was sufficient for Lagos State to re-arrest and file fresh charges against Ogbonna, Amnesty International and Bimbo’s family, through their counsel, Odiana Eriata wrote the state Police command demanding a review of the charge of negligence.

The state Director of Public Prosecution reviewed the charge upward by slamming on Ogbonna the charge of manslaughter punishable under Section 229 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State with life imprisonment.

When the matter came up on Thursday before Magistrate Court 7 presided over by Mrs Adebayo Kafayat Tella in the Yaba magisterial district, Ebute Metta, she refused Ogbonna’s bail plea and ordered that he be remanded in prison until 7 March to enable the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to file the charge at the right court.

On Thursday, 9 January 2023, Ogbonna approached the Lagos State High Court, praying it to grant him bail, pending his formal arraignment by the state government.

In the bail application argued by his counsel, Victor Ogude (SAN), he prayed the court to grant his client bail to enable him support his children financially.  Ogude said that the charge of manslaughter was bailable and therefore entitled his client to bail.

In an affidavit in support of the bail request deposed to by Ogbonna’s brother, Ifeanyi Elvis Ogbonna, he said the applicant was emotionally and psychological drained in custody without being arraigned.

Opposing the bail application, the Lagos State DPP, Dr Babajide Martins said that Ogbonna was a flight risk and could flee from justice, if granted bail based on the severity of the punishment for the offence.

Martins also argued that the applicant’s counsel has not shown any compelling reason why his client should be admitted to bail.

After listening to the arguments by both counsel, Justice Nicole Clay adjourned to 23 February to deliver a ruling.

Ogbonna is facing a fresh charge of involuntary manslaughter contrary to Section 224(b), and punishable under Section 229 of Criminal Law of Lagos State.

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