Zenith Bank Plc has fired John Edobor, a senior member of its staff who was reported to have battered his estranged wife, Ivie Edobor, SaharaReporters confirmed on Tuesday.
We further learnt that Lagos State has moved to upgrade the charge against Mr. Edobor from assault to attempted murder. State prosecutor Ipaye Nwachukwu made this known to the chief magistrate of Surulere Magistrate Court 1.
The suspect will also face the Lagos State High Court in a separate suit concerning custody of his three daughters. Benjamin Odeh, the victim’s lawyer, filed the application at the court seeking dissolution of the marriage and asking the court to order Mr. Edobor to pay alimony.
A source close to the police told our correspondent that the police found a knife on Mr. Edobor when he was arrested at the scene of the assault. He went further to say that the level of damage done to Mrs. Edobor cannot be treated as mere assault but as a case of armed attack, hence the reason for the amended charge.
An eyewitness, Mr. Ibiso Kama, who was also at the scene, corroborated that statement. He said the suspect had been in the area long before Mrs. Edobor and one Mr. Mathew Agbaire drove into the area. He noted that he was the one who called the police and handed Mr. Edobor over to them, adding that Mr. Edobor had reached out to him to plead with his wife while she was still at the hospital.
“I am surprised that John is denying that he did not attack his wife. He sent me different messages asking me to beg his wife for him. He hit her with a metal object that looked like a shock absorber for a car,” Mr. Kama told our correspondent.
“I jumped down from my apartment to rescue the woman because the gate had been locked at the time. It was around 11 pm. All the boys in the area can attest that [Mr. Edobor] had been there since the afternoon, buying drinks from the boys. He told them his wife was cheating on him in the apartment he rented for her.”
SaharaReporters spoke with Mr. Edobor, who confirmed that he had indeed lost his employment at Zenith Bank, but denied ever inflicting any harm on his wife.
According to him, it was Mr. Agbaire, the man who drove Mrs. Edobor to her residence, who hit her with a hammer while he was trying to hit him.
He went on to accuse the victim of adultery and claimed that she aborted a pregnancy because she could not decide the paternity of the unborn children. However, contrary to his claim, the scan he sent to SaharaReporters as evidence of the seven months’ pregnancy that was allegedly aborted did not show the presence of any twins.
Mr. Edobor told our correspondent that Ivies had threatened to abort the babies since he doubted the paternity of the twins.
“I asked Ivie if she was pregnant for me and still kept sleeping with another man [allegedly Mr. Agbaire], who owns the babies? We would need to do a DNA test to actually know who their father is,” Mr. Edobor said.
Mrs. Edobor denied ever being pregnant and claimed the scan result was not her own, saying that she had given her hospital card to another woman to use.
She also stated that she was coerced by her husband to write an apology letter to the bank for dragging it into their domestic dispute.
The accused was first arraigned for assault last June before Mr. Aro Lambo at the Surulere Magistrate Court 1.