The police in Lagos have arrested a 31-year-old trader, Mattew Ugo-Oti, who deals in iron rods, for allegedly assaulting a neighbour, John Ofini and his wife, Anthonia Ofini, breaking the latter’s left hand.
It was learnt that the incident happened in the Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos, where the suspect and the couple live.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Ugo-Oti had accused John of stealing a piece of iron in his shop located in the Alatishe area, where John also sells foodstuffs.
John was said to have reported the allegation to Ugo-Oti’s wife and asked her to caution her husband.
Our correspondent learnt that John was in a barber’s in the community around 10pm on November 16, having a haircut when the suspect – reportedly under the influence alcohol – attacked him with a stick.
John’s wife, Anthonia was said to have rushed to the scene to pacify Ugo-Oti after she was informed of the scuffle, but was also beaten up by Ugo-Oti, who also broke her left hand.
John told the police that his fingers were bruised while he was trying to block the stick Ugo-Oti was welding, adding that he did not steal the iron.
He said, “We have shops close to each other and we had a good relationship. I was pained when he accused me of stealing a piece of his iron. So, I reported him to his wife.
“That day, he was drunk and came to meet me at a barbershop, angry with me for reporting him to his wife. But I didn’t reply him. Suddenly he started hitting me with a stick he was holding and chased me out of the shop. He inflicted injury on my fingers. My wife came to beg him, but he refused. He hit her several times with the wood until he broke her hand.”
The incident was said to have been reported at the Elemoro Police Station, leading to the suspect’s arrest.
He was consequently arraigned before a Tinubu Magistrates’ Court by a police prosecutor, Inspector Richard Odigie, who held brief for Inspector I. Okeke, on one count of assault.
The charge read, “That you, Mathew Ugo-Oti, on November 16, 2015, at about 10pm at Alatishe Town, Ibeju-Lekki, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did use a stick to hit one Anthonia Ofini on her left hand which caused her bodily harm and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 171 of the Criminal Law of Lagos, Nigeria, 2011.”
The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the offence and elected summary trial.
The presiding magistrate, Mr. A. Adefulire, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N100,000 with a surety in like sum.
Adefulire added that the surety’s bank account, residential address and evidence of tax payment to the state government must be verified by the prosecutor.
The case was adjourned till January 21, 2016.