My children and I are in danger - Woman cries out as estranged husband demands custody


A 28-year-old woman, Mrs. Onyiyechi Akujobi Okeahialam, from Imo State, has raised an alarm, accusing her husband, Engr. Napoleon Okeahialam Onyebilama of endangering her life and that of their three kids.

Onyiyechi, whose divorce case with Onyebilama is currently at a Customary Court in Abia State, Uzoakoli, accused her husband of forcibly taking their children from her.

Mr. Napoleon Onyebilama, has, however, denied the allegations describing them as false.

Narrating her ordeal on Thursday, Onyiyechi from Umuihua in Owerri Municipal Council, Imo State, who married Engr. Onyebilama in 2017, said the wealthy Engineer “refused till date to pay my bride price despite repeated demands from my father.”

She said her husband started maltreating and beating her a few years ago and “became violent. When it became too much, my father asked him to bring me back and he did just that. ”

Onyiyechi also accused her husband of wanting to collect the kids, adding that since she got to Onyebilama’s Lagos residence at No 5 Olorunnisola Street off Arojebeh, Oshodi, she has been held under house arrest.

In her words, “I have 3 kids for him, two girls and a boy. The first is 4 years, the second is 3 years, the last is just 2 years.

“My life was in grave danger as a result of constant beating. It wasn’t quite long he summoned me to a Customary Court of Abia State, Uzoakoli for dissolution of marriage and that the court should grant to him custody of the three children.

“He has given evidence and closed his case. I have started my defence before the Judiciary Staff went on strike. In essence, the matter is at the defence stage, the Court has not decided the matter.

“However recently my husband came to Owerri, Imo State that I should get prepared to follow him to Lagos with the kids.

“I promptly informed my Lawyer, Olusegun Bamgbose, who advised me on what to do. I thought he was trying to make us reunite but that wasn’t his plan.

“He wanted to collect the kids and send me back to my father’s house. Since I got to his house at No 5 Olorunnisola Street off Arojebeh, Oshodi Lagos, I have been held hostage, under house arrest. My movement has been restricted, I can’t make calls as I would have loved.

“I’m incarcerated. He eventually opened up that tomorrow (today) he will be taken me to Welfare so that the 3 kids will be collected from me.

“He told me that he won’t allow me to stay with him as he is not interested in me but the kids.

“He must have made necessary arrangements with the welfare to collect the children from me so that I can go back empty-handed to my father’s house. I’m in tears. I’m confused. My kids’ lives are in danger.

“I hereby appeal to the Commissioner of Police and other well-meaning Nigerians to come to my aid. My husband is rich and he has determined to deal with me. I can’t confront him, my poor parents can’t equally face.

“All I have left as my hope are my children and he is about to deprive me of them. I doubt if any other woman can take care of my children as I will do.

“My children may not be able to cope without me. The courts are not open yet. Please concerned Nigerians and mothers come to my help.”

But in reaction, Mr. Onyebilama said that all his wife had said are all false allegations.

He alleged that she does not take proper care of the kids, adding that one of the children had nearly died for lack of blood despite the huge among of money he sends to her.

He also said his estranged wife, Onyiyechi, had willingly decided to follow her kids to Lagos, saying that she can’t stay without them, wondering how he could have forcibly taken his own children.

He went on, “All those accusations are false. There’s no truth in them.

“Because the marriage is not walking, we decided to part ways and I left the kids with her for the past one year now and I pay their bills. I pay for everything concerning the children.

“I give her whatever she requests to take care of the kids but the money I spent is not reflecting on the kids.

“Recently one of the kids was about dying for lack of blood. How can a child I spend so much on be lacking blood?

“I went there to[Imo State] to see them and what I saw was heartbreaking, as a father, there is no way I will leave them in that condition back to Lagos. So, I took the kids with me to Lagos and where I can take proper care of them.

“But she decided on her own to come with the children to Lagos. I paid for the flight that brought them to Lagos.

“How am I forcefully taking my own kids. Did she say I’m not the father of the kids?

“These are my kids and I want the best for them which she can’t offer while they with her. Just within three days that the kids are with us here in Lagos, their conditions have changed.

“I’m taking her to the welfare so that they can decide who keeps the children and who’s is in a better position to give them the best of life. Since both of us are not reaching an agreement, so I said let’s go to welfare so that they decide for us, it’s that a crime?

“She said I placed her under house arrest, how? How can I place her under house arrest and still give her money to go out? Come, come and do your investigations and see for yourself if she’s truly under house arrest.

“Domestic violence is real. I must tell you, domestic violence is real. That’s why the best way to avoid it is for one to walk away. Because someone may be pushed to the wall to do what they are not supposed to do, the best thing is you walk away. “

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