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Absence of Judge Stalls Fani-Kayode’s Ex-wife’s Trial


The absence of Justice Obiora Egwuatu of a Federal High Court, Abuja has stalled the hearing in a suit filed by a former senator, Mrs Grace Bent against Precious Chikwendu, ex-wife of former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode.

The matter, which was on number 12 on the day’s cause list, could not proceed due to Justice Egwuatu’s Absence.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the judge was a participant at the on-going three-day judges’ seminar holding at the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Abuja.

The case was consequently adjourned till Oct. 6 for trial commencement.

NAN reports that Chikwendu was, on March 10, arraigned by the Nigeria Police on allegations bordering on defamation of character and cyberstalking.

She, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge after it was read to her.

Following her not guilty plea, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Victor Okoye prayed the court for a date to commence trial and also prayed the court to remand Chikwendu in the Correctional Centre in Kuje.

He said the defendant should be remanded pending the hearing and determination of the matter.

However, counsel to Chikwendu, Mr Alex Ejesieme, SAN, had opposed the application.

The judge, who admitted Chikwendu to bail in the terms of the administrative bail earlier granted her by the police, adjourned the matter for trial commencement.

NAN reports that Chikwendu, an ex-beauty queen, was, on Feb. 14, docked before a sister court presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo for attempted murder of her former husband, Fani-Kayode.

However, in an amended 14-count charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/01/2022 dated and filed by John Ijagbemi on behalf of Commissioner of Police, FCT Command on April 22,, the ex-wife was said to have committed attempted culpable homicide on Nov. 24, 2018.

She was alleged to have carried two kitchen knives threatening to kill Fani-Kayode, the children and other occupants of the house at Asokoro within the court jurisdiction.

She was also accused of making false allegations on Nov. 24, 2018 with doctored pictures with intent to deceive members of the public and make them believe that the injuries in the pictures were inflicted on her by her ex-husband.

Besides, Chikwendu was alleged to have “criminally uploaded doctored/photo-shopped pictures” of her biological child, Liam Femi Fani-Kayode, who was four years old, in order to deceive members of the public that the child sustained injury on his forehead.

The police authorities had also accused the estranged wife of threatening the lives of witnesses lined up in the alleged attempted murder charge against her.

Others arraigned alongside Chikwendu in the 13-count charge dated and filed Jan. 7 were Emmanuel Anakan, Prisca Chikwendu and Osakwe Azubuike as 1st, 3rd and 4th defendants l, while others were said to be at large.

They, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

NAN reports that Chikwendu, who was accused of infidelity by the former minister, was also said to have withdrawn various civil cases filed against Fani-Kayode.

The former minister said Chikwendu had always been given access to her children under closed supervision due to her alleged mental challenges which could result to hurting the children.

The former minister had also alleged that Chikwendu stopped calling the children on telephone for about seven months now contrary to her habit in the past.

An Abuja Magistrate Court in Wuse Zone 2 had, also recently, restrained the ex-wife from making comments that could lead to the identification of the children whose custody issues had been submitted before it for determination.(NAN)

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