The Nigeria Police Force, Anambra State Command has arrested the suspended Transition Committee Chairman of Nnewi North Local Government Area, Mr Mbazulike Iloka, over the death of his wife, Chidiebere. Iloka was suspended by the state government on Friday, pending the conclusion of investigation into the alleged murder to avoid any interference.
The Anambra State police spokesperson, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, who confirmed the arrest to Easterner on Wednesday, urged Nigerians to be patient as investigation into the matter was ongoing.
He said, “He is in our custody now and we urge the members of the public to be patient as the autopsy shall prove the cause of the wife’s death. Meanwhile, investigation is still ongoing please.”
Easterner learnt that the suspended LG chair was currently being detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Awka, Anambra State, under charges of culpable homicide.
Meanwhile, rights organisation championing rights of women and girl child, WomenAid Collective (WACOL), has commended the decision of the Anambra State Government to suspend the TC Chairman, while lamenting the exacerbating case of domestic violence against women in the country especially in the South East.
Mrs. Iloka, also known as “Ada Igboukwu”, reportedly died on July 7, 2022, after she suffered multiple injuries which resulted from the suspected physical battery by her husband.
A video clip and photos which have been circulating on social media show fresh wounds, blood stains and her torn clothes which are indicative of physical assault.
Information from close friends, colleagues, and family sources has also confirmed that Chidiebere had been going through serial domestic violence at the hands of her husband until the recent incident that ultimately claimed her life.
However, WACOL described the action of the state government as very swift and decisive to the extent that it sends a strong warning to perpetrators of violence against women.
The rights organisation in statement signed by the Founding Director WACOL/Tamar SARC, Prof Joy Ezeilo, said that the action further shows that the government is committed to stemming the tide of the violence against women and girls (VAWG) which plagued women in the state, especially now that it has assumed dangerous dimensions of murder.
“It will be recalled that recently, the Nigerian gospel singer, Osinachi Nwachukwu, lost her life in similar circumstances. This incident was widely condemned by Nigerians including our organisation WACOL hence her husband Mr. Peter Nwachukwu was arrested and is currently facing trial at an Abuja High Court.
“We condemn perpetrators of such barbaric acts of violence tormenting women. They have no place in modern society hence should be fought to a standstill and put in the dungeon where they belong.
“Although the state government has acted well by withdrawing the appointment of Mr. Iloka as the TC chairman of Nnewi North, this action is not enough.”
The statement added, “WACOL is calling on the relevant authorities to further expedite the investigation, arrest, and effective prosecution of Mr. Iloka without delay to serve as a deterrent to other perpetrators.
“Indeed, the red flag has been raised concerning heinous crimes of spousal murder by male chauvinists in Nigeria yet there seems to be little action in terms of securing justice for the victims and their families.
“The Nigerian Governors’ Forum in 2019 declared a state of emergency on sexual and gender-based violence, which is also a welcome development. However, not much has been done by the Government to tackle this ugly phenomenon and provide succor to numerous victims/survivors.”