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‘He Recorded His Wife Burning In Fire’ – Lagos Agency Accused Of Complicity In Bimbo’s Death

 

A Civil Society Organisation has called out the Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) of Lagos State for alleged negligence and complicity in the death of Bimbo Ogbonna.

Executive Director of Men Against Rape Foundation (MARF), Lemmy Ughegbe made the allegation during a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

The group claimed that the Lagos agency, which they had often commended before now, failed to act proactively in Bimbo’s case.

Recall that Bimbo’s death was announced by her sister in an Instagram post.

The couple made headlines when Bimbo and her husband got into a scuffle and she reportedly set herself ablaze in the process at their home in Lekki, Lagos.

She was rushed to the hospital where she reportedly died from severe fire injuries, and on 15th of October, it was reported that the Lagos State government ordered an autopsy on  Bimbo corpse.

However, there were allegations that her husband, Ikechukwu Ogbonna, set the deceased on fire and watched her burn.

Ughegbe, while speaking on the case, said, “Based on our background in investigative journalism, we have taken time out to investigate the circumstances that led to Bimbo’s death and it is as disheartening as it was avoidable.

“It is on record that Bimbo cried out, filed formal complaint to Lagos DSVA about serial abuses by her husband, Mr. Ikechukwu Ogbonna. We also have recorded a conversation between Bimbo and a DSVA official, wherein Bimbo was distressed and called the agency for urgent action.

“Unfortunately, the evidence we have is that the DSVA treated it with complacency and usual bureaucratese of public service.

“For an agency set-up to deal expeditiously with issues of Domestic and Sexual Violence, the complacency with which Bimbo’s distress call was treated amounts to negligence and complicity in situations that led to her death.”

He further said that it was ironic that an agency whose Facebook page carries the message “every domestic violence case is a potential murder case” will not act on a distress call from someone who had previously taken the extra step to lodge two complaints.

In his own remark, Comrade Jacob Edi, called on the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution to call the DSVA for the files with documentary evidence of physical abuses of the deceased by her husband.

“We have seen a video recording by Mr. Ogbonna while his wife was locked inside the house with fire. How can a man whose wife is on fire be so calm to record the incident instead of calling for help?” he queried.

Edi said that substantial evidence of abuses of Bimbo shows clearly that Ogbonna knows more than he is saying about the fire incident that killed his wife.

On her part, the founder, Jewels Hive Initiative, Oluwatoyi Falaiye, while demanding justice said, “Bimbo’s death and the action of the Law agency is as though Bimbo is victimised even in death.

“Victims of domestic and gender-based violence suffer victimization while in an abusive marriage or relationship and sweeping Bimbo’s case under the carpet is sending the wrong signal.

“We as CSO and gender advocates are demanding and begging for answers! It will be justice for all if we get the answers as to give closure to other survivors.”

Ughegbe said further that ,”The reason we are doing this, is the first step in our advocacy is to make sure that Bimbo’s case is not just swept under the carpet and to make sure that the DSVA Agency of Lagos State sits up and gets to the bottom of officers who were complacent with Bimbo’s distress call.

“This has led to death.  We cannot sit here and say it is murder, but we know that enough questions must be answered by Ikechukwu Ogbonna who chose to be recording the wife burning instead of rescuing her.

“It’s a big question going by the fact that there has been other substantial evidence of him domestically violating the said person.”

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