“The crime committed by the husband is a crime against the State” -Akwaibom lawyer who assaulted his wife in a viral video could still be prosecuted despite the woman dropping the case

“The crime committed by the husband is a crime against the State” -Akwaibom lawyer who assaulted his wife in a viral video could still be prosecuted despite the woman dropping the case

The Akwa Ibom State Government can still prosecute the lawyer who assaulted his wife recently despite the woman withdrawing the case against him, a prominent lawyer in the state has said.

The lawyer, Ekere Ebong, was filmed attacking his wife, Ekemini, at night, in front of his residence in Uyo, on December 14, 2023, fueling the outrage of Nigerians on social media, who called for his arrest.

In the video of the incident that went viral on social media, the woman attacked was wearing only underwear and her face was bloodied.

In a statement announcing his arrest on December 18, 2023, state police spokesperson Odiko Macdon said Mr Ebong “assaulted his wife, dehumanized her, causing several serious injuries”.

Macdon also said the lawyer is a “known habitual perpetrator of violent acts against his wife over the years.”

Ebong was charged but granted bail, said the President of the Uyo Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Augustine Umoh.

The assaulted wife, in a letter dated December 20, 2023, withdrew the case, saying she did not want her husband to be prosecuted.

But Umoh confirmed the creation of a disciplinary committee against Mr Ebong when the 17-year-old lawyer made a confessional statement about the assault on his wife.

The state's lawyers believe he can still be prosecuted because his wife is just a witness as the crime was against the state.

According to James Ibor, principal lawyer at Basic Rights Counsel Initiative, there are provisions in the Penal Code and the Criminal Justice System Administration Laws of Akwa Ibom State that make the wife a coerced witness, to the point of validating what happened to she.

Ibor said that the assaulted wife is not a complainant, but just a witness and her opinion does not count in the accusation

“And in any case, her invitation may be waived because she is the wife and the prosecutor may decide not to invite her.” He told Premium Times.

“I’m glad the NBA is involved. The NBA will deploy every legal mechanism at its disposal to ensure it receives justice whether it likes it or not, because it's not just justice for it; it is justice for the people of Akwa Ibom State, for the legal profession, for the human race and for her husband who also has sisters and mother,” Ibor said.

Ibor said that his action may not be out of love, but because of pressure from society.

“I know that maternal families, paternal families, friends who promote patriarchy and violence against women may be saying to you: 'Your children are going to hate you for sending their father to prison. Who will feed them?'”

Source: www.lindaikejisblog.com

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