BY AGNES NWORIE, ABAKALIKI
The traditional ruler of Ogbaoza Dikenafai Ideato South Local Government Area of Imo State has been accused by his wife, Osinachi Obasi of child abduction and threat to her life.
Mrs. Obasi, the second wife of His Royal Highness, Festus Nwosu of Ogbaoza Dikenafai, dragged the monarch to Ebonyi State Family Law Center and demanded release of her two male children, acceptance of bride price refund and release of her other belongings in the monarch’s custody.
“I am Osinachi Obasi of Umuoji Akaeze from Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. I got married to the traditional ruler of Ogbaoza Dikenafai Ideato South Local Government Area of Imo State, HRH Festus Nwosu on July 29, 2017. He married me as a second wife according to our tradition. I was with two sons before the marriage, of which he didn’t know who impregnated me.
“I took my two sons to his house because they were too tender to be left behind. Little did I know that the traditional ruler was not interested in me but just wanted to take my children from me because he is childless.
“He started maltreating me on getting to his house and ordered that my own children should stop calling me mother, rather, they should start calling his first wife, mother. He also asked my children to move to the senior wife’s quarters, away from me. I was battered by the traditional ruler for refusing to be a maid to the senior wife as the monarch ordered.
“I am not happy with such an order. He has no rights to claim my children. He only married me to give birth to him. He vowed that if I refused to abide by his orders, he would kill me as he is the royal father of the kingdom and that he can do and undo as all power of the community rests on him.
“One midnight, around 1:00am, he came with his brother with cutlasses and gave me an egg; he ordered me to share it with my children, if not, he would kill me.
“If he doesn’t like me as a wife, he should also not like my children. They are for another man, I took them along because they are still tender to be with their father who was my boyfriend
I narrowly escaped through the window and ran to the house of my village person there in Ideator South. I ran for safety without my two children and my household properties that I took to his house and N50, 000.00. I also left my cassava farmland of one thousand heaps which I personally planted.
“Since December 2021, I ran away for safety and he didn’t even come to my father’s house to know whether I got home safe or not till today. Still, he keeps my children. All efforts to give him a refund of the bride-price he paid to my parents and to retrieve my children have not been easy. I want my children back. If he doesn’t like me as a wife, he should also not like my children. They are for another man, I took them along because they are still tender to be with their father who was my boyfriend.
“I intended to give birth to his own children for him since he is currently childless. In Izzi tradition, if he wants to adopt my children traditionally, there are some rites he should perform for my parents with my consent, if I so wish. In this case he didn’t seek my consent for the adoption and didn’t perform any rite for traditional adoption but rejected me and took my children against my wish,” Mrs. Obasi narrated.
Because the monarch failed to respond to the family law’s summon, the centre petitioned the Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Garuba and urged him to arrest Nwosu.
In the petition dated March 29, 2022, addressed to the Commissioner of Police and signed by the family law center’s Chairman, Mrs Elizabeth Nwali at the instance of Osinachi Obasi, sought assistance of the police for quick dispensation of justice.
Nwali said, “In the light of the foregoing, we are passionately appealing to you (Garuba) to use your good office to effect arrest of the traditional ruler for questioning, compel him to bring the children to the center for sighting, mandate him to sign an undertaking not to harm the petitioner and her children in anyway and allow her carry her belongings from his house.”
However, the accused monarch was yet to either appear or respond to the center’s summons as at the time of filing this report.