…plunging wife into depression, wife seeks Sanwo-Olu, IGP, advocates help to get justice
… Psychiatrist says children should be given to mom to ameliorate trauma
…Husband bold, doesn’t want to obey the law -ACVPN
…Matter in customary court – Husband’s lawyer
…No policewoman slapped her, says PPRO
A distraught woman, Mrs. Adeola Onwukwe, whose husband, Iyke Ikechukwu Onwukwe aka Chief David, a millionaire, disappeared with their four underaged children has dashed to the office of the Advocates for Children and Vulnerable Persons Network (ACVPN), seeking assistance to get justice.
The woman is also imploring the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Usman Baba to come to her rescue.
According to the Child Rights Act, underaged children are supposed to stay with their mom. Adeola’s oldest child is 13 years, while the youngest is just three years old. The others in between are 10 years old and seven years old.
Adeola, who is heartbroken and traumatised since her millionaire husband left Lagos State for Imo State, with the children, said that she is missing her children terribly. This was even as she revealed that her husband has remarried.
She explained that she was not worried that her Ikechukwu remarried, but she was disturbed that her husband handed her four children to his new wife, even while she was still alive and missing them.
Adeola, who was said that Ikechukwu’s new wife had a baby, said that she wanted the Lagos State government to also wade into the matter, so that Ikechukwu, whom she said she has no money to battle, to return her children.
She alleged that her husband took the children to Imo State because he knew that the Lagos State Government will not smile at his antics.
Ikechukwu left last year with the children and according to information received by Adeola, he has allegedly completed plans to move the children with his new wife overseas.
Since the matter started, it has been taken to Ajiwe Police Station, Ogombo Police Station, and Elemoron Police Station, where Adeola claimed that the Police took sides with her husband because he had money to throw around.
She even claimed to have been slapped at Ajiwe Police Station by a Policewoman, who took sides with her husband. “A woman police slapped me in the presence of my husband. But after my husband left, she came to apologise. She is called Abosede. This incident happened in December last year. In fact, on that same day, my husband slapped me in the presence of the police people. My husband used to say that in Nigeria, everyone has a price, that because I don’t have money, I will never be able to get justice or get my children, that he would always pay wherever I take the matter to.”
She further said: “It was policemen at Ajiwe Police Station that assisted my husband in packing my things out of my matrimonial home and carried them to their station. It was due to his constant physical, psychological, and emotional abuse that I went into depression, had constant migraine and high blood pressure.”
The husband, who spoke through his lawyer, said that Adeola had an affair with an Uber driver and he had to jettison the marriage and took the children.
Adeola said that Ikechukwu had accused her of having a string of affairs with an Uber driver, lesson teacher, houseboy, and even pastor.
Aside from his constantly beating her, he used to call her names like stupid, bastard, and irritant, among others. He told her repeatedly that she was just a baby mama. “There was a time he sent the children and I out of the house and abandoned us for almost a year. He said I should be addressing him as sir. He complained about my dressing and called my sister a barren woman.”
Adeola recounted that her marriage became stormy after her husband left Malaysia and returned to Nigeria. She did not know that he returned to Nigeria and secretly married his new wife.
She said that after she returned to Nigeria, she noticed disturbing changes in Ikechukwu, with his character morphed into a wife beater and a verbal assaulter. He started interrogating her if she withdraws as much as N20,000 from her bank account.
The couple has been married for 17 years before things began to fall apart.
Adeola said that she currently lives and sleeps in her shop, meanwhile, Ikechukwu allegedly has about six houses.
She recounted: “He sent me out of the house and took our four children since last year. He set me up and then lied that I had an affair with the Uber driver that used to drive me, which is not true.”
One of the interesting aspects of the couple’s quarrel is that Ikechukwu, for reasons best known to him, used to send videos of himself and his new wife to Adeola, which usually gets her further agitated.
Ikechukwu’s lawyer, Barrister Chimezie said: “Mrs. Onwukwe has a very loose relationship with the truth. Did she inform you that she has been represented by Falana and Falana Chambers in this matter?
“If there was a valid claim of domestic violence, Mr. Falana would have ensured she had a remedy. The matter was adjudicated at the customary court and she was directed to file a claim at the high court, till date she has not taken any legal action. She’s a violent woman.”
When the reporter asked if the matter should have been taken to customary court or family court, Chimezie said customary court, because the marriage was under native law and custom.
He added: “ I am aware that Mrs. Onwukwe has been trying to go to the media, but the matter is in court. Instead of her to talk to her lawyer, she’s going to the media. She’s messing up the work of her lawyer.
“ She brought a marriage certificate, but in the matter before the customary court, they file an objection, based on the existence of that marriage certificate and we have found out and we did our research, where they claimed such a marriage happened and the registrar claimed that there was no record of such a marriage occurring.
“The court asked her to bring the certified true copy of the marriage certificate and till today she has not brought it. We can’t say it was forged, we can only infer that it was forged or fraudulent. It is a matter of dissolution of marriage and the court says it has to go to the high court.
“She has gone to Falana and Falana is more than capable of handling the matter, she has never said she was beaten up and had never denied that she had an affair.
“She abandoned the children, and she wouldn’t tell you that. The matter is at Ajiwe Police Station and if you go to Ogombo Police Station they know of this matter. The DPO in charge of Ajiwe Police Station investigated this matter thoroughly.
“I would have preferred that the matter be resolved quietly. I am working on how to settle the matter, but Mrs. Onwukwe is frustrating all attempts. The matter is very annoying to Mr. Onwukwe. If you need more details, you can get Falana and Falana. If there was a case of domestic violence, I am sure Falana would have done a thorough job. Mrs. Onwukwe has not been sincere with Falana Chambers.
“She had an affair with her Uber driver, but because of the children, we don’t want something that will become a scandal. I don’t think Mr. Onwukew and Mrs. Onwukwe are ripe for divorce and we are looking at how to mediate, it is an ongoing conversation. She’s claiming that he first went to marry a second wife, and that’s why she did her own, to pay him back. Two wrongs can’t make a right. A woman can’t say she was going to have an affair to punish her husband, especially in our country. The two of them still love each other. She attacked me several times and then tried to stab me with a pen. She’s very violent. In fact, the court ordered her to go for psychiatric treatment, because she has been going for psychiatric treatment at Yaba, even before she started having issues with her husband. The woman is not well.”
The matter has also gone to the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA), which wrote a referral letter, asking the Office of Public Defenders (OPD) to ensure that legal action through family intervention is taken to ensure that the children were adequately protected.
Ikechukwu via letter dated 17th January 2023 was invited by OPD.
A medical report dated 24th of January 2023, addressed to Femi Falana Chambers by Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, states that Adeola came to the facility on the 12th of January 2023 following a recommendation for her to get a psychiatric assessment.
The report reads in part: “Patient was duly assessed and had a normal psychiatric evaluation. She also had a personality assessment done which revealed a passive-aggressive personality for which she will continue to have supportive therapy. This would enable her resilience in the face of current marital challenges.
“We recommend that the patient is given custody of her children as she is psychotically and financially capable to take adequate care of them. As this will help ameliorate the trauma of taking her children, which triggered this passive-aggressive coping mechanism.”
The Programmes Officer of ACVPN, Blessing Aderemi, said that Adeola shows all the signs of emotional and psychological abuse. Aderemi said that videos sent to Adeola by Ikechukwu were used to cause mental torture because Ikechukwu knew that the woman still loves him.
Aderemi said that in her professional evaluation and opinion, the law should be followed and the children, who are all minors be given to their mom. She also expressed concern that if Ikechukwu continue to play hide and seek games with Adeola, using the children as a weapon to hurt their mom, Adeola could harm herself.
She further said: “I called Ikechukwu, and he told me to go and talk to his lawyer, that the case was already in court. I told him that no customary court will get involved in a case that has to do with children. He said that he married her traditionally, so he went to customary court.
“ I told him that it is only the family court that has jurisdiction over such a case. He said that he has taken his children, and nothing would happen! I asked him if the way he took the children was the proper way, and he said that Ajiwe Police Station has investigated the matter.
“I told him that the Police should have charged the matter to court with the evidence he claimed to have against his wife so that the court will decide who the children, who are minors, should be with.
“He said that the Police had decided that, that he has relocated to Owerri, that he has nothing anymore to do in Lagos, and that if anyone wanted to make a case with him, they should come to Owerri. I reminded him that everything that happened concerning his wife and children, happened in Lagos.
“I asked him if he knows about the Child Rights Law, and he said that he was a complete African man, that I should not tell him anything, that he has done what he wanted to do, and that nobody can hold him for that.
“He said that very soon, all the children would be moved to the UK. The truth is that he’s not supposed to take the children out of Nigeria without the consent of his wife and he is not supposed to take the children from their mother, to give them to another woman. He claimed she was cheating and following men. But he has another wife and started another life.”
Aderemi opinioned that alleging Adeola of having affairs and having a psychiatric challenge was to discredit and pushed her out of her matrimonial home.
“If Adeola gets her children back, she will be fine, she’ll move on with her life. The children should be a comfort to her from the trauma she’s going through. But the husband is adamant and appears not ready to respect the law. He keeps saying he has taken his children, and that there was nothing anyone could do. He said that each office has a price and that for any office he was taken to, he would pay their price, this means he has been bribing all police stations. He was very bold,” said Aderemi.
Our reporter contacted the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Benjamin Hundeyin, to find out why Ajiwe Police Station did not charge the matter to family court, why woman Police Abosede slapped Adeola and why the police assisted in ousting Adeola out of her matrimonial home.
Hundeyin said: “According to the DPO Ajiwe Police Station, the matter brought to the station was not about children custody, that he doesn’t have a right to decide who is to take a child anywhere.
“The complainant that was brought to the station was a case of stealing. Mr. Onwukwe complained that because he stays overseas, anytime he comes home, he would discover that things were missing. It was while investigating the stealing that they now stumbled on the fact that the woman was having an affair with an Uber driver.
“The husband got angry and came to the station to challenge the Uber driver, almost believing that it was the matter that was taking the things that were missing. The Uber driver apologized, saying that he didn’t know that the woman was married.
“The husband decided to forgive him and let him go since it has not been proven that he stole anything. The only that could be proven was that he had an affair. The woman did not like the humiliation she suffered; she then went to the area command to complain that the DPO was not handling the case well.
“The area commander asked the DPO to transfer the case and it was transferred, but nothing new was discovered. How Mr. Onwukwe now took children away was not known to the police.”
The police also denied that a policewoman slapped Adeola at the station in the presence of her husband. Hundeyin also said that no policeman packed Adeola’s things out of her matrimonial home as alleged by her.