Bimbo Ogbonna’s death: Group decries 12hrs arrest of grieving mother, brothers

Blueprint Whatsapp

A frontline advocacy group against Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) – Men Against Rape Foundation (MARF) has warned the Lagos State Police Command to desist from being used to intimidate and harass the mother and brothers of late Bimbo Martins Ogbonna at the instance of her husband, Ikechukwu Ogbonna. 

Bimbo, documented by some respected anti-domestic violence non governmental bodies and activists as a victim of Intimate Partner Violence, died after she was reportedly sustained 95% burns in the house.

It was alleged that rather than rescue her, her husband opted to video record her inside their locked apartment and this has led to him being charged for negligence leading to her death.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, Executive Director of MARF, Lemmy Ughegbe decried the arrest and intimidation of Bimbo’s grieving mother, Mrs Ebele Comfort Martins and her brothers at the instance of Mr. Ogbonna.

“It is laughable that Ogbonna alleged that Bimbo’s mother stole $20,000 USD from his house when 

“On the 24th day of December, officers of the Lagos State Police Command arrested the grieving old mother of Bimbo and her two sons at the instance of Mr. Ikechukwu Ogbonna who claimed that she stole $20,000 belonging to him from his apartment on the same day that Bimbo was gutted by fire”, Ughegbe noted. 

He said Ogbonna’s claim is laughable because upon news of his wife’s death, he immediately made a voice note recording, explaining that he did not abscond on the day of the fire incident, but left to seek financial assistance from his friends and associates to enable him pick Bimbo’s hospital bills”, Ughegbe stated. 

“While we concede the right of the police to investigate allegations of crime, no citizen should be unduly detained on flimsy allegations, which lack credibility and iota of evidence like the one made by Mr. Ogbonna upon which the police had to detain the old woman for twelve solid hours”, Ughegbe stated. 

According to him, the allegations made by Ogbonna leading to the arrest of the trio was a study in contradiction and on the face of it the police ought to have been dismissed within a few minutes of interrogating them.

“You all will recall that after Mr. Ogbonna came out of hiding and handing himself over to the police who had been on his hunt over his alleged role in the fire that burnt his wife and led to her death, he claimed that he went to meet friends and associates to raise money for her medical bills”, he recalled. 

“How can the same man who wrote in his statement at Panti Police Station and on Instagram that he didn’t have money for her hospital bills and that was why he went looking for financial support from  friends and associate, suddenly wake up to claim he had $20,000 in the house, which was stolen by his mother in-law?”, Ughegbe quizzed. 

“An impartial police would easily see through this tissue of lies and not keep the old woman in detention for twelve hours. Instead, the police played dumb and allowed themselves to be used as tools to harass and intimidate the grieving family”, he stated. 

He said: “to detain an old grieving woman on the eve of Christmas for 12 solid hours without any deference to her age or the fact that she has just lost her daughter and is traumatized by the circumstances of that loss is totally unacceptable, reprehensible and condemnable.”

The activist said obviously the police are in dire need of emotional intelligence as they have shown by this assault against the grieving family that they lack emotional intelligence and the knowledge of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) associated with losing a child or a sister as in the instant case. 

He called on the Inspector General of Police to call the Lagos State Police Command to order in order not to have the reputation of the police, which he has been working hard to clean up, muddied further. 

Meanwhile, the Investigation Unit of Make A Difference Initiative headed by Comrade Jacob Edi had ran a check on Ogbonna and found that he has been in dire straits financially for quite some time. 

Mr. Ogbonna even had to sell some choice Wrist Watch to offset various debts he owes people. 

A check on estate also shows it is gated and access cannot be granted any visitor or family member into the estate without the permission of a resident.

However, the Investigative Unit of Make A Difference Initiative can confirm that the time any member of the family visited the scene of the incident was in the company of the Police at Panti and Ikechukwu to conduct Forensic, Fire Report and to take some of the children’s clothing.

Related content you may like