By Esther Nworie and Agnes Nworie
A middle aged man, Uchenna Chukwu Ani who hails from Enugu State on Sunday, 26th July, 2020 at No 1 Ike Street Abakaliki allegedly chained his wife and ran away with the key in Abakaliki the Ebonyi State capital.
The mother of four was alleged have been passing through hell in the hands of the husband for over 16 years their marriage has lasted.
It was alleged that the suspect have been having series of misunderstanding with the wife because of his side chick to the extent that the man threatened to kick the woman out of the house with her four children and marry the mistress.
It was further gathered that he decided to chain the wife because the girlfriend was allegedly arrested for an illicit drug business by the security operatives in the state.
Report says the woman was released from the chain by the Special Assistant on security and utility capital city to the Governor of Ebonyi State, Mr. Saint Nchekwube Anakor who brought a welder who used sub-saw to cut the chain.
When journalists visited the place on Monday, the woman who gave her name as Chukwuani Ngozi decried the high level of violence she is passing through in her marriage.
The couple however blamed each other on their troubled marriage.
Ngozi gave account of the incident, “I am from Ifitedum, Anambra, I am being married to an Enugu man from Mmaku.”
“We had our wedding in 2004 and since then, we have been having problem. My husband said he did not get what he supposed to get from my father. After our wedding in 2004, my husband said he was no longer happy with our marriage, that the things my father used and settled me as his first daughter when I wedded was not enough. My husband said it was just house property and the flat that my father was able to give me and said he needed something tangible like landed property or something that has document.”
“I told him to relax that his character will attract more things to us from my father. I also told him that as a young couple, we have bright future and can hustle and make our own money and other property he is complaining about.”
“I told him that my father has boys and if this storey- building which he gave us a flat in it is to be shared to the boys, it will not be enough and some of them will not get. I pleaded with him that it is better we hustle and get our own properties and as our marriage grows, money will come through our efforts and we will get our own property.”
“My husband was still embittered, he was no longer happy with our marriage. He would go out and come back to the house anytime he likes without letting me know his whereabouts. I didn’t know what to do, since I have taken a vow during my wedding. The vow made me to find it very difficult to walk away from our marriage.”
“My Dad was a source of encouragement to me; he would advise me that it is just temptation which must surely pass.”
“Our marriage continued to shake and my first pregnancy came. I suffered and carried that first pregnancy without my husband’s proper care. The second pregnancy came and it happened like the first pregnancy. The third one which I delivered twins was okay, there was no problem again. But any time my husband remembers that the house rents of this my father’s three-storey building is not paid into his account, he will not be happy with me again.”
“Domestic violence has been regular in my marriage; my husband beats me at will, inflicts injuries on me. The one that led to him chain me like this started October last year after the burial of my father because my father later died.”
“My in-law, that is, a man that married my younger sister came back from South Africa and told me that my sister was about to deliver and if I was interested to come to South Africa, I should let him know. I told him that I will inform my husband to seek his consent before coming to South Africa. He said okay that it was good. I met with my husband and told him about it. My husband asked me why I was interested going to South Africa and I told him that if not for any other thing, I want to enter plane because I have not entered it since I was born and I also want to have travel experience especially outside the country. He laughed and said okay ‘go ahead and prepare the document for the travel.”
“I told my brother-in-law that my husband has approved my travel to South Africa and he started preparing for my coming there. I was called to go to Enugu and collect my passport and other particulars for the travel to South Africa. Before I went to Enugu, I answered that call to come there in the presence of my husband. After answering the call, he changed his mind that that I will no longer travel to South Africa. I told him that I sought his consent and he approved it, that my travelling passport and other documents are ready. He said I should not bring those things to our house.”
“I later went to Enugu and collected the travelling documents when I returned from Enugu, he asked me why I went and collected the travelling documents. I told him that there was no way I can abandon the documents especially as I told him about it. I told him that even if I am no longer travelling, there was no way I can abandon the documents. He started crying and collected my phones and everything he found with me. I apologized to him and begged him. He said I will not travel to South Africa even if I have the passport and the documents for it.”
“The travelling date was approaching fast and I started thinking on what to do. I resolved that I must travel because it is a very big opportunity for me and if I lose it, I may not have it again in my life. He moved in with his girlfriend and started living with her. I accepted his decision. Few days for me to travel, my husband left our house and was no longer coming to our house. I left for South Africa and left my children with my sister. While in South Africa, my husband and that his girlfriend called me severally on phone; that I went to South Africa for prostitution.”
“January this year, I came back from South Africa saw our house empty. My husband carted away all the properties in our house which my father used and furnished the flat he gave me when we wedded. He removed the whole property in our house to unknown destination. As you can see, there is no single thing in our house again. We later reconciled and my husband started coming to our house again.”
Ngozi narrated why she was chained like a dog, she said that trouble started when the husband did not come home on Tuesday till Sunday, 26th July, 2020.
She said when the husband finally returned, he started accusing her of inviting drug agency to come and arrest his girlfriend thus the reason for chaining her.
“On Tuesday last week, I called him because it was already 11:00pm and I asked him where he was, he told me that I should not worry that he will tell me when he returns back. He came back and demanded for food which I gave him.”
“He left our house after eating the food and did not return till last Sunday. When he came back, he started quarreling with me and said that I masterminded the arrest of his girlfriend by NDLEA. He accused me of inviting NDLEA to arrest the lady. He said I was destroying his business, that I have scattered his business and did not support him in buying all the lands he bought. He also accused me of constantly inviting NDLEA that has been arresting him for drug offences and that I am dating some of the NDLEA officials and that they usually give me some percentage from the money they make after arresting him (my husband).”
“I was on the floor trying to sleep and he woke me up that I will not sleep until I go and bail his girlfriend that is in NDLEA custody. He started beating me, inflicting all manner of injuries on me. He coughed severally and spat on my face while battering me. I kept quiet and refused to do anything. He went and brought chain and chained me to a pillar in our flat. He smoked Indian hemp and a wrap of it was even on the floor of our house that time he was torturing me. He called me NDLEA informant while torturing me and I told him I was not and I cannot be.”
“My husband is not a good person; he smokes a lot and he womanizes too. I didn’t realize all these behaviours because we didn’t date even a single day before we married. We met in a church and he approached me that he wants to marry me. I told him that if he really wants to marry me, he should meet my parents to be sure he is very serious. He then met my father and my father told him to go and think very well if I was the one he was interested to marry and he came back and told my father I was the one.”
Mr. Uchenna Chukwu Ani the accused when contacted on phone maintained that the wife was responsible for the arrest of his girlfriend.
He said he was into drug business with the wife who now turned against him.
The suspect who warned journalists not to call his line later gave his own side of the story.
Mr. Ani said, “I have been living in her father’s house since we married because I couldn’t get money to rent house for us to live. Because I don’t have money to rent house, I continued living there and my wife refused to bring money for our feeding. Every time, my wife will be tormenting me because I was living in her father’s house.”
“Every time, he will invite police and NDLEA to me. I was selling Indian hemp with her. From there, I started selling cocaine also with her, from cocaine, she got money and ran away to South Africa without my notice. Because of this, I packed all the properties in our house and took them away. I told her the reason she was behaving the way she is behaving was because I am living in her father’s house.”
“She reported the matter to the police why I carted away our property. The police people told her that they can’t meddle into family matter. She went to family law centre and reported the matter. The family law centre told us that we should pack out of that house we are living. They said my wife don’t have respect for me because we are living in her father’s house. They blamed her for abandoning me to South Africa. From this drug business, there is a place that God gave me and I have finished it.”
“My wife reported me severally to NDLEA and always called me an armed robber and drug dealer. I am a drug dealer but I am not an armed robber. She went to the drug people and they came and packed my N850,000. My wife told me that the drug people said the money must be shared into two before they will free me. I told my wife, this people came to our house, searched it and didn’t see any drug but my money. I asked my wife, is my N850,000 an exhibit? She said I should better do what she said because the NDLEA can still come back to me and that they already know I sell cocaine. I now said okay, since you are with them, let the money be shared into two with half of it brought to me. My wife brought back only N200,000 for me out of N850,000″.
He ended by saying he regretted marrying and living in his father-in-law’s house.
Speaking with newsmen, FIDA chairperson in Ebonyi state, Barr. Mrs. Grace Chima who rescued the victim following a tipoff from neighbours, regretted the attitude exhibited by Mr. Ani and assured that her office must arrest and prosecute him up to a logical conclusion.Follow us