A Lagos-based man, Sulaiman Maiyegun, aka Afobaje, who allegedly battered his wife and bragged about it on Facebook was on Friday arraigned before the Igbosere Magistrates’ Court on a two-count charge of assault occasioning harm and offensive publication.
In her ruling, Magistrate Folake Oshin granted the defendant bail in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties who must be a cleric and a family member to the defendant.
Maiyegun had on May 5 posted to his Facebook account, “I beat my wife and I am waiting for her police because I talked to a woman.” The post was attached with several pictures of the battered woman, identified as Mariam Gabriel, with blood oozing from her forehead.
Maiyegun’s action attracted condemnation from many Nigerians on social media.
One of his friends, Dabio Michael, wrote, “How I wish you knew the way she loves you. You wouldn’t have beaten her this way. Sule, come back to your senses. What you did was bad and as a friend, I will tell you the truth. Go and apologise to her and delete this rubbish (post) from social media.”
Another friend, Ahmed Abdulahi, wrote, “This is too bad, Sule.”
Also, Bukola Ayinde wrote, “Why did you do this, Sule? This is unfair. You shouldn’t have done this to your wife. Delete these pictures from social media and beg her.”
Also, Michael Williams wrote, “You are my friend but it’s obvious you can’t change.”
The viral offensive post gained traction online and got the attention of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, who reached out to the Commander, Area J Police Command, ACP Gbolahan Odugbemi, and got the suspect arrested on Thursday.
At his arraignment before the Igbosere Magistrates’ Court on Friday, Maiyegun pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge of assault occasioning harm and offensive publication.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the prosecutor, SP Shinaolu Adeoye, told the court that the defendant committed the offences on May 5 at 12:13pm at Maiyegun town, Jakande Estate, Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.
The prosecutor said the defendant unlawfully assaulted his wife, the complainant, by beating her with his fist on her forehead.
“The defendant injured the victim on her forehead and posted an inciting and provoking publication about the incident on his Facebook page,” Adeoye said.
The prosecutor said the offences contravened Sections 57 and 173 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
NAN reports that Section 57 provides as punishment six months jail term or a fine of N90,000 while Section 173 provides three years’ imprisonment on conviction.
Adeoye, however, urged the court to remand the defendant to the correctional centre and asked for an adjournment date for the commencement of the trial.
In a swift reaction, the defendant’s counsel, Mr Mustapha Danesi, urged the court to grant his client bail on the most liberal terms, adding that the matter was as a result of a family crisis.
Oshin in her ruling also directed the court registrar to verify the addresses of Maiyegun’s sureties who must be taxpayers in the state. The case was adjourned until June 22 for mention.