The Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, has taken over the alleged battery case involving the suspended Chairman, Nnewi North Local Government Area, Anambra State, Mbazulike Iloka.
Mbazulike had allegedly beaten his wife, Chidiebere, to death, according to testimonies of neighbours, a development that led to his suspension by Governor Chukwuma Soludo.
But in a letter dated July 16, 2022, and signed by the Principal Staff Officer to the IGP, CP Idowu Owohunwa, the police boss directed the Commissioner of Police, Homicide Section of the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Force Headquarters, Abuja to launch a probe into the case.
“I write to respectfully inform you that the Inspector-General of Police has directed the Commissioner of Police, Homicide Section of the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Force Headquarters, Abuja to investigate diligently and furnish a detailed report,” the letter read partly.
The IGP’s move followed another letter from a civil rights group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), which had approached the police chief to arrest the suspect and probe the circumstances surrounding Chidiebere’s death.
In the letter signed by the group’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, on Monday, HURIWA prayed the IGP thus: “Having realised that you have a very credible Gender Offences Unit under your office in Abuja, that you direct the Anambra Command of the Police to transfer the investigation of this matter if any is ongoing, to your desk for a much more efficient and professional investigation and further action.
“It is also our prayer that if need be, then you take measures such as lawful arrest of the alleged domestic violence offender pending conclusion of a transparent investigation and if found guilty then you prosecute without waste of time.”
The incident is one of the cases of domestic and gender-based violence reported this year. In April, gospel singer, Osinachi Nwachukwu, died controversially. Her husband, Peter Nwachukwu, is being prosecuted for battery, going by the victim’s sisters’ and children’s testimonies.
Over 1.7 million sexual and gender-based violence complaints were received in 2021, according to the National Human Rights Commission.