Law & Policy, Legal Drama

Artist D’Prince’s Ex-Business Partner, Susan Yusuf, Brutally Murdered + The Culture of Silence and Domestic Violence, the Murders of Nkechi and her Unborn Child

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What a terrible and absolutely heart breaking news.

On February 6th, 2012, I discussed the business breakup of Mo’Hits D’Prince with club owner Susan Yusuf. Ironically, in that post, I used an analogy of being in an actual relationship and how a business relationship was similar to a personal one. I discussed the need to be extremely careful with who you got in bed with, from a business context and the need to breakup amicably, at least give it all you got to walk away peacefully.

Yesterday, February 10th, 2012, Yusuf was brutally murdered while in her apartment. The perpetrator of the crime is reported to be her boyfriend. After stabbing her repeatedly, he tried to get away when neighbors rushed to her defense. In an effort to get away, it is reported by eyewitnesses who spoke to the media that he jumped from the sixth floor where she lived to his untimely death. All around terrible case.

I am glad there were persons who saw her boyfriend and positively identified him as the one who they saw commit the crime. It would have been terrible if he got away and rumors began implicating D’Prince, given what was reported as a bitter business breakup where they were allegedly not on speaking terms. An excerpt from NETng.com follows:

“A gruesome scene played itself out at the 1004 housing estate in Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday, February 10, 2012, as Lagos club owner Susan Yusuf was stabbed by a man believed to be her boyfriend Idris.

Estate security this morning confirmed Susan’s death, saying the shocking event occurred at about 9:30PM. Apparently, the night club owner screamed for help when things took a violent turn with Idris, who sources claim is a regular visitor to her residence, but not even her neighbour, popular Mo’Hits singer Wande Coal, could come to her aid, as the music in his apartment was allegedly quite loud.

NET investigations revealed that the couple had been indoors all evening, when all of a sudden, an argument ensued, leading to Idris repeatedly stabbing Suzy with a bread knife.

The deceased lived in flat 606 in block D5.

‘She was shouting Wande’s name but the music as usual was too loud for him to hear’, one resident said. Wande Coal was unreachable at the time of this report; we however saw General Pype walk past flat 606 and enter a nearby apartment. Another resident claims when Wande found out what was going on, he tried to intervene.

When residents tried to apprehend him, Idris reportedly jumped from the 6th floor, dying on impact. ‘The guy is her boyfriend. He usually comes and sleeps over, buys groceries and rides her car’, another resident told us.

She died in the elevator while neighbours were trying to get her to the hospital. An eye witness tells us she was bleeding and holding on to her sides as she bled out, but gave up the ghost soon after.

‘Suzy doesn’t really stay at home around that time. We are all still surprised why she was at home at that time, knowing she leaves the house around 5 or 6PM and returns at about 7AM in the morning’, a security guard who would rather remain anonymous tells us.

‘This is a very very sad situation’ said one resident. ‘The whole estate is beyond shocked, the manner of violence is unbelievable’. . .”

Before I send you all to the full story on Netng.com, violence against women in Nigeria is a real issue. A legal colleague in Nigeria, Attorney Ike Melchyesedech Ezekwu Sr., recently told the story below that involves the homicidal killings of a young mother and her unborn child perpetrated by her husband.

Folks, we need to come together as a community and as a society to prevent our daughters, sisters, mothers, aunties etc. from being victims of these violent crimes.

Finally, note the sections and statutes that govern homicide/murder in Nigeria.

LAW ON MURDER IN NIGERIA

What Law Governs Murder in Nigeria?

Southern States: The Criminal Code Act Chapter 77 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990

Northern States: The Penal Code Law (Cap. 89) Laws of Northern Nigeria 1963

What are the provisions of the Criminal Code Act specific to murder?

The Criminal Code Act is subdivided into chapters and sections. Chapter 27 of the Criminal Code Act and applicable sections governing homicide (murder) states the following . . .:

306. It is unlawful to kill any person unless such killing is authorised or justified or excused by law.

307. A child becomes a person capable of being killed when it has completely proceeded in a living state from the body of its mother, whether it has breathed or not, and whether it has an independent circulation or not, and whether the navel-string is severed or not.

308. Except as hereinafter set forth, any person who causes the death of another, directly or indirectly, by any means whatever, is deemed to have killed that other person.

309. When a child dies in consequence of an act done or omitted to be done by any person before or during its birth, the person who did or omitted to do such act is deemed to have killed the child.

310. A person who, by threats or intimidation or by deceit, causes another person to do an act or make an omission which results in the death of that other person, is deemed to have killed him.

311. A person who does any act or makes any omission which hastens the death of another person who, when the act is done or the omission is made, is labouring under some disorder or disease arising from another cause, is deemed to have killed that other person.

312. When a person causes a bodily injury to another from which death results, it is immaterial that the injury might have been avoided by proper precaution on the part of the person injured, or that his death from that injury might have been prevented by proper care or treatment.

313. When a person does grievous harm to another, and such other person has recourse to surgical or medical treatment, and death results either from the injury or the treatment, he is deemed to have killed that other person, although the immediate cause of death was the surgical or medical treatment, provided that the treatment was reasonably proper under the circumstances, and was applied in good faith. . .

315.Any person who unlawfully kills another is guilty of an offence which is called murder or manslaughter, according to the circumstances of the case.

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT FOR THE OFFENSE OF MURDER
319. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section any person who commits the offence of murder shall (b)e sentenced to death.

(2) Where an offender who in the opinion of the court had not attained the age of seventeen years at the time the offence was committed has been found guilty of murder such offender shall not be sentenced to death but shall be ordered to be detained during the pleasure of the President and upon such an order being made the provisions of Part 44 of the Criminal Procedure Act shall apply.

(3) Where a woman who has been convicted of murder alleges she is pregnant or where the judge before whom she is convicted considers it advisable to have inquiries made as to whether or not she be pregnant the procedure laid down in section 376 of the Criminal Procedure Act shall first be complied with.

320. Any person who-

(1) attempts unlawfully to kill another; or

(2) with intent unlawfully to kill another does any act, or omits to do any act which it is his duty to do, such act or omission being of such a nature as to be likely to endanger human life;

is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for life.

321. Any person who, being under sentence of penal servitude or of imprisonment for three years or more, attempts to commit murder, is liable to imprisonment for life.

322. Any person who becomes an accessory after the fact to murder is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for life.

323. Any person who, knowing the contents thereof, directly or indirectly causes any person to receive any writing threatening to kill any person is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

324. Any person who conspires with any other person to kill any person, whether such person is in Nigeria or elsewhere, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.

325. Any person who commits the offence of manslaughter is liable to imprisonment for life.

326. Any person who-

(1) procures another to kill himself; or

(2) counsels another to kill himself and thereby induces him to do so; or

(3) aids another in killing himself;

is guilty of a felony, and is liable, to imprisonment for life.

327. Any person who attempts to kill himself is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for one year.

Attorney Ike Melchyesedech Ezekwu Sr.’s note:

My (D)ear friends,

I come before you humble, with my head bowed and on bended knees. Today, my heart is heavy and my anguish is unimaginable. Like the biblical Rachaelweeping for the death of her children, I have refused to be consoled.

On Monday, I received a call from Nigeria from a friend about Ms Nkechi Ngene [maiden name]. Ms Ngene was 8 months pregnant, an unemployed mother of two minor children, and the wife of a man, that is known to his friends as Chico Chime- a motor cycle spare part dealer in Enugu. Both resides in Enugu GRA, and are from Akwuke Autonomous Community [Nkanu] in Enugu South LGA of Enugu State. On January 31, 2012, she confronted her husband about his incessant infidelity, and he responded by beating the crap out of her. Ms Ngene sustained various bruises, but worst was that she began to bleed profusely and uncontrollably. The unkindest cut of all was that her husband left her to die.

Abandoned on the cold floor helpless, in the full glare of their children, and life slowly but painfully slipping away from her, with her last breath she called a friend. She was rushed to the nearest hospital, and after two days of spirited medical help, she died as well as her unborn child.

Like most cowards, her husband has since gone into hiding, abandoning their minor children to the mercy of friends and family. The matter was first reported to Ogui Police Station, but referred to New Haven Police, the appropriate police station.

The matter has since been reported to the police and the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria[NHRCN]-Enugu Office. However, I have been also informed that some so called big shots from Akwuke community and Enugu South LGA Chairman’s Office are bringing pressure to bear on the Police and NHRCH -Enugu to drop their investigation!!!, so that the issue [double homicide]will be handle as a “family affair”.

It is against this background that i have come to you for assistance. Please re-post this message; contact the Nigeria Bar Association; Association of Women Lawyers and any Non-Governmental-Organization, the Commissioner of Police-Enugu State[Nigeria], National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria and any one that offer assistance in this matter. Ms Nkechi Ngene and her unborn child must not Die in Vain!!! Let us make a difference in another persons’ life by breaking this CULTURE OF SILENCE.

Many Nigerian and African women have died in silence.

Domestic Violence is now a silent killer in our homes and lives. This is the time to take a stand and proclaim: NEVER AGAIN!
Let us honor Nkechi Ngene and her unborn child by our actions, and we must not allow members of the Akwueke Community nor those at the Enugu South LGA to sweep this matter under the rug. Double homicide is not a “family affair”, rather a CRIME.

It is my fervent wish that this matter will be given the urgency that it deserves. When evil men/women conspire, good men/women MUST congregate. The time for action is now! for the die is cast!

Now that this appeal has been made, the mercy of sleep which has long been denied me, can now be restored. That is my wish; that is my strength, and this is my consolation!

ALUTA CONTINUA!!
Attorney Ike Melchyesedech Ezekwu,Sr.

Photo description: L-R: Rapper Weird MC, the Late Susan Yusuf (RIP) and Singer Goldie

Full story on TheNetng.com.

Interview with Bond Stanley Ebigbo (Full Interview via Podcast)

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email (africamusiclaw@gmail.com). Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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1 Comment

  1. Nkeiru Ogbuokiri-Ojo says:

    Ms. Uduak, 

    It’s saddens me to hear the recent death of Susy (Susan).  When reports of her death became public I immediately thought of the piece you wrote the other day regarding her joint business venture; which swirled downwards regarding its agreement.

    Nonetheless, domestic violence is a serious issue that I can only pray the awareness grows to encourage those silent voices to step forth. I’ve been on three sides of domestic issue; the child, the silent voice and the victim. I watched my mother’s life almost be taken away…but I would ask God to spare her and though I was a child I asked God to allow me to aid in her strength to walk away.  Years later, I became the silent voice, but just as batting up, strike 1–2–3, I was OUT. At that time, I believed I feared more of me going to jail 4 attempting to slay the person who dared lay hands on me. I realized quickly I had a baby to raise and I wasn’t going to spend my life in jail or be put to my grave.  But not everyone is given that chance…

    An argument can disperse out of control, but never should it be to the point of either party putting hands on the other. Unfortunately, many women will look at themselves and/or situation and be in denial, including men. Over the years, I’ve spoken to young girls and older women at local shelters who are battling parenthood and/or domestic violence. 

    I’m not sure if Susan ever had an previous warning signs or aggressiveness from her partner, but it saddens me that she’s gone. Also imagining Susan screaming out for help is heartbreaking. May her soul rest in gentle peace along with the gruesome death of mother, wife, daughter, Nkechi.

    Sorry, if my comment was too long, but this piece hit so close to home for a woman to lose her life over men who are beyond having a temper or rant.  How can one take the life of another and the cowardly kills himself or goes into hiding cause he can’t face the music he chose to dance too??? In the end no one wins and a family mourns the lost of love ones.

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