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Doctor suspects wounds on lawyer accused of killing husband self-inflicted

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Lagos – A medical doctor, who is the seventh witness in the trial of a lawyer, Udeme Otike-Odibi, charged with stabbing her husband (Symphorosa) to death, says he suspects that wounds found on the accused were self-inflicted.

Udeme, was on June 13, arraigned by the police before an Igbosere High Court in Lagos State, on a two-count charge of murder and misconduct with regard to a corpse.

Symphorosa Otike-Odibi and his wife, Udeme, before the shocking murder

She, however, pleaded not guilty, and was remanded at the Kirikiri Prisons.

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, the witness, Dr Booyemi Oyeneyi, said that the 48-year-old accused was brought to his hospital at 7.30a.m on May 3, by some men who claimed to be her neighbours.

Oyeneyi, who works at Safeway Hospital, Sangotedo, Ajah, Lagos, was led in evidence by Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey, the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions.

”On examining the defendant, I saw that she had six stabbed wounds on her abdomen, one on her tigh and a cut on her right finger.

“Her respiration was normal and the wounds were not deep but superficial.

“A test was conducted to check her blood level and to see if there was any internal bleeding; also an abdominal scan was carried out and the results were okay. There was no injury to her internal organs.

“She was stable; I was curious that she sustained such injuries without any injury to the internal organs.

“My suspicion is that the wounds might have been self-inflicted,” the doctor said.

Defence counsel, Mr Oluseye Bamijoko, however, cross-examined the witness to ascertain how he could determine when an injury was self-inflicted.

The doctor, while answering questions from the counsel, admitted that he was not a forensic expert to determine a self-inflicted wound.

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The prosecutor called another witness, Dr Shokunle Soyemi, an anatomical pathologist, who said he conducted autopsy on the late Symphorosa Otike-Odibi.

Soyemi said that during external examination of the body, there was a stabbed wound on the abdomen, an incised injury on the left finger, an injury on the groin area and a sutured injury on his manhood.

He said that after external examination, the body was opened up and there was much blood in the abdominal cavity.

“We saw destruction of the menstry vessel (organs that holds the intestines).

“After all the examination, it was discovered that the man lost 3.5 litres of blood from the injuries; death was ascribed to destruction of the menstry vessel and massive loss of blood,” Soyemi said.

He was cross-examined to ascertain if embalment of body could destroy evidence as to the cause of death.

The pathologist had told the court that the body was embalmed before autopsy was carried out.

He said that embalment could not destroy evidence as to the cause of death.

The prosecutor called another witness, SP Joy Akpan, who narrated how she got to the alleged crime scene.

Akpan narrated what she saw and the exhibits recovered at the crime scene.

Justice Adedayo Akintoye adjourned the case until Jan. 23, 2019.

The prosecution had during arraignment told the court that Udeme committed the offences on May 3, on Diamond Estate, Sangotedo, Lekki, Lagos State.

It said that Udeme stabbed her husband and mutilated his corpse by cutting his genitals.

The alleged offences contravene Sections 165 (b) and 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Section 165 (b) provides for five years’ imprisonment for misconduct with regard to a corpse, while Section 223 stipulates death sentence for murder. (NAN)

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