By Josephine Agbonkhese, Onozure Dania & Elizabeth Uwandu
LAGOS—An Igbosere magistrate’s court in Lagos, yesterday, extended a remand order given against a husband and wife, Chidi and Nkiru Ubochiadinjo, charged with pouring acid on 26-year-old Ogochukwu Nwosu.
Chidi, 39, and Nkiru, 40, were first arraigned on March 15, on a four-count charge of conspiracy, attempted murder, threat to kill and grievous bodily harm.
The accused, who pleaded not guilty, were remanded in custody for 30 days, pending the legal advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions, DPP.
When the case came up yesterday, Magistrate J. O. Adepoju extended the remand order for another 30 days.
The magistrate said that the report on the case file forwarded to the court from the office of the DPP contained a different case number from what was on the charge.
She directed the prosecutor to ask the DPP for another report bearing the correct charge number.
Mr. C. C. Echemazu, counsel to the accused, thereafter moved an application for his clients to be released on bail.
He stated, among other things, that the accused had been in detention since their arrest, for a period of six months.
The prosecutor, ACP Ochogwu Ogbeh, however, opposed the bail application and argued, among other things, that “the victim is still critically ill, battling for her life in hospital.”
According to the charge, the duo, on October 6, 2016, at Ilasamaja Bus Stop, Ilasamaja, Lagos, attempted to murder Nwosu by bathing her with substances suspected to be acid, thereby causing her grievous bodily harm.
The charge also stated that on October 7, 2016, one of the accused, Nkiru, threatened to kill the complainant, Nwosu, through a text message.
It stated that the offences contravened Sections 230, 232, 245 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The case has been adjourned until July 14 for ruling on the application and DPP’s advice.
Meanwhile, reacting to the adjournment of the case, Founder, Women Advocates Research & Documentation Centre, WARDC, an NGO, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, who spoke through the NGO’s Legal Adviser, Miss Nkechi Obiagbaoso, said WARDC will challenge the DPP’s advice that Mrs Ubochiadinjo be granted bail on the grounds of lack of evidence, while her husband, who the victim saw on the day of the incident, remained in custody pending the final verdict on the case.
Victim’s brother’s reaction
Recall that Peter Nwosu, brother to Ogochukwu, victim of the acid bath, told Vanguard that his sister’s ordeal started when she refused the marriage advances of Mr. Ubochiadinjo to be his second wife.
His words: “Immediately Nkiru got information of her husband’s intention, she began to make calls and send text messages to my sister, threatening to make her life miserable.
“A day after the incident, she called Ogochukwu’s number and I picked the call. She said that the acid poured on my elder sister was the beginning of her woes.”
Meanwhile, Nwosu has lamented that justice for her sister might be denied if the court kept adjourning the case and suspects were to be granted bail.
According to him, “if this case continues like this, my sister, who has undergone seven surgeries, where each cost N185,000, might be denied justice.”