Ms Peace, orphaned at 9 was a child, 17 years old when she was against her will given to an older man, Mr. Lawrence EKWUEDO by her aunt in a traditional ritual, called, ‘marriage’ and abandoned to the man and his family. In rapid succession, Ms Peace had four children with Mr. Lawrence. Today, she is 31 and her first child is 14.

The so-called marriage was marked with horrors of domestic violence, the type I have not seen in my  close to 3 decades experience in my field.

Ms. Peace was mercilessly beaten in private and public from when she was pregnant with her first child. She was denied access to who was left of her family and friends and telephone. She was made a baby-making recluse. Mr. Lawrence EKWUEDO architected and created a beggarly financial system in the ‘home’ which tied Ms Peace tightly to his apron string. She started her menstrual circles in severe apprehension  because she needed to look unto Mr. Lawrence for every kobo, including the stipend to buy sanitary towels.

Long story short, 4 years ago or so, Ms. Peace was for the umpteenth time beaten and this time left for dead near his generator house. Neighbors rallied round and rushed her to the hospital (we have pictures of these horrible episodes of domestic nightmares).

Upon recovery, Mr. Lawrence EKWUEDO locked her out and denied her access to her precious children for 4 years.

This poor lady, who is today in a perpetual state of physical and mental ill-health as as result of the merciless and consistent beating she received from Mr. Lawrence, including heating her head on the ground went everywhere seeking justice in Lagos State, including the Nigerian Police System. Mr. Lawrence boasted he was connected. The door of justice was tightly locked and bolted against her.

We met her early this year and engaged with DSVRA (Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Agency). With their commendable intervention, for the first time, after evading many invitations, Mr. Lawrence reported to the Divisional Police Station, Alausa, Ikeja.  He was a criminal suspect. He was released within 24 hours and was to be charged to court. The Police, claiming he was ill, delayed the process.

I smelt a rat and predicted to our team and Mrs. Lola Vivor-Adeniyi that the delay on the part of the police was deliberate to give him a ‘legal’ way to escape Justice. As I rightly predicted  Mr. Lawrence”s sister, a lawyer served the police a Fundamental Human Rights Application purportedly filed before a court in Lagos State and from that moment, police claimed their hands were tied.

We restrategized and worked with DSVRA. The Nigerian Police received a Director of Public Prosecution’s advice to charge Mr. Lawrence for bodily grievous harm.

It is close to 4 months now, the Lagos State Police Command , Gender Desk  has refused to charge Mr. Lawrence to court. We have followed up rigorously but the police has turned the DPP’s Advice into something more worthless than the paper on which it is written. It has become like a dud cheque in their bank of law enforcement.

Today, with the active connivance of the police, Mr. Lawrence has bolted away from his last known address with 4 children.  From our investigation he has withdrawn the children  from their last known school and has also vacated his office in Oregun.

The Lagos State Police  Command, Gender Desk which did not respond to the complaints of Ms. Peace in the past, suspiciously took over the file from  the Divisional Police Station, Alausa, Ikeja  and sat on it.  We have updated them with this worrisome developments and they have not bat an eyelid. Like Emperor Nero, who ‘fiddled while Rome burned,’ the Lagos State Police  Command, Gender Desk is at peace as this battered and abused woman keeps crying for help to see her precious children in the least.

Ms. Peace does not have a roof over her head, squatting from place to place once she was thrown out 4 years ago, abused and abandoned by the Nigerian State.

Our petition now goes before the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State for his intervention.

Why did we go public today? This is the period of 16 Days of Activism Against Domestic Violence and I think it is important to illustrate how helpless the Nigerian woman can be in obvious cases of domestic violence.

I think a society that does not have a concrete system in place to respond to those who speak up should stop this hypocritical and shameful charade of asking people affected by domestic violence to speak up.

As in this case and many others I have seen over the years, their speaking up emboldens the suspected perpetrators and their ilk, whose sense of impunity is further fueled, as they gloat and pride themselves in their shameful enterprise.

Here is our first installment in putting the system on public trial. In our subsequent efforts, we will specifically mention the names of the police officers involved.

Kindly save Ms. Peace from the trauma of not seeing her precious children and help us share this far and wide to generate enough PUBLIC WILL and ACTION to compel the police to do their work.

Thank you and do have an INSPIRED week ahead.



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