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

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

Deborah Musa, Abuja

Resumed trial in a suit filed by former Senator Grace Bent against Precious Chikwendu, wife to former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, at the Federal High Court in Abuja, was yesterday, stalled due to the judge’s absence.

It was reported that Justice Obiora Egwuatu was a participant at the ongoing three-day judges seminar holding at the National Judicial Institute. NJI, Abuja, hence his absence in court.

The matter, which was listed as number 12 on the day’s cause list, could not be heard and was consequently adjourned till October 6 for trial commencement.

It would be recalled that Chikwendu was, on March 10, arraigned by the police on allegations bordering on defamation of character and cyber stalking.

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

Following the 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 administrative bail earlier granted her by the police, adjourned the matter.

Chikwendu, an ex-beauty queen, was on February 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, filed by John Ijagbemi on behalf of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Commissioner of Police, on April 22, Chikwendu was accused of committing attempted culpable homicide on November 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’s jurisdiction.

She was also accused of making false allegations on November 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 filed on January 7 are Emmanuel Anakan, Prisca Chikwendu and Osakwe Azubuike as first, third and fourth defendants while others were said to be at large.

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

Chikwendu, who was accused of infidelity by the former minister, has 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 them.

Fani-Kayode had also alleged that she stopped calling the children on telephone for about seven months contrary to her habit in the past.

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

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