A mother of three, Mrs Chinyere Uzowulu, has cried for help over the alleged vandalism of the family house by her husband, Chief Afam Uzowulu, who is a retired depot manager of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, for challenging the divorce from him and refusing to vacate the house with her children.
Chinyere, who addressed journalists shortly after conducting them round the vandalised duplex located at No. 1/3 Uzowulu Street, New GRA, Enugu, disclosed that she was challenging in court his divorce and ejection from the premises with her children. She said the case was pending before the Supreme Court in suit No. SC/CV/895/2020.
While describing the destruction of her residence in a matter before the court as unlawful, Chinyere regretted that thugs aided by the police carried out the vandalism in her absence on Friday, December 18, 2020.
She stated that she did not have any police case with her estranged husband, adding that the house she lives in with her children was a family residence and “we are presently in the Supreme Court over the house and divorce.” She said that trouble started when Afam voluntarily left the house in 2012 “after demanding for 50 per cent of my earnings as a condition for peace.”
“When I refused, he went to court for divorce and to eject his three kids and I from the house. I opposed it because I contributed financially to the building of the house. I am also challenging the divorce and his sending off the kids to the street,” she added.
Chinyere, who showed journalists a stay of execution on a lower court judgement, which granted Afam divorce and an ejection order, said that all her belongings and those of the children, whom the father allegedly abandoned for eight years, were destroyed and looted.
“I am calling on the Enugu state Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who is the chief security officer of the state, and civil society organisations fighting for the right of women and children to come to my aid as the police in the state have compromised and allowed his impunity to continue. My life and my children’s lives have been exposed to danger,” she lamented.
It was observed that the roofing of the house had been removed, while the doors, furniture and kitchen accessories were destroyed and clothes scattered all over the premises, with the perimeter fence and gates pulled down.
When contacted, Afam confirmed that he carried out the vandalism of the house. “I sued her for a divorce and to vacate the house, and the court ruled in my favour. Since the judgment, she has refused to vacate the house. Although the court granted her custody of the children, she cannot stay with them in my house. So, I went to enforce the judgment of the court and take possession of the house,” he stated.
Asked if he knew about the stay of execution, Afam said, “I know she has gone to the Supreme Court to challenge the judgment of the lower court, but she has yet to obtain the stay of execution. So, I applied for an execution order and the Chief Registrar of the Customary Court of Appeal refused to approve the execution and didn’t give me any valid reason for not signing the order. In the absence of a stay of execution order, I had to use every available means to execute the judgment of the court.”
When contacted the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, denied any police involvement in the vandalism of the house and declined further comments.