I am constrained to react to some newspaper publication today, especially that of Tribune, Vanguard and the Nation over the judgment delivered by an Ondo Customary Court on the 10th of October by Magistrate Stephen Rotiba, on the case between my daughter and sister Mrs. Lilian Chibuzor Abua and his ex-lover, Prophet Ayodeji Obayan.
Ordinary, the family would not have reacted to the deliberate, malicious and one–sided news story being published and broadcasted, but in order to put the records straight, we make bold to say that these sponsored articles are in bad taste and does not in any way reflect the true position of the 35 minutes judgment delivered by the learned judge on Tuesday, 10th of October, 2023.
To put the record straight; I was at the court as always, and I heard the entire ruling of the judge. There was never a moment that the judge gave custody of any of the four children to Prophet Obayan as alleged by tribune newspaper report nor paternity to him too because he clearly stated that in his earlier ruling on the custody of the children the 26th day of April, 2023 the custody to the mother still stands.
His early ruling, “On the issue of custody of the children of the ‘marriage’. I also agree with counsel to the respondent that this court does not have the vires and the requisite jurisdiction to determine same save for the last child of the ‘marriage’ which is still 16 years old. A conscientious consideration of the principles embedded in Okwueze Vs Okwueze Supra is to the effect that a child of 16 years old is clothed with the will to determine or elect his or her action, in-action, commission or omission. It is consequent on the foregoing stated reason that I also resolve this issue in favour of the respondent.”
*Prince Abua Obi and Prophetess Lilian Abua
I was surprised to see that some of the papers tried to add some tribal twist to the whole story without even seeing a copy of the judgement or being present at the court when the case was going on or when the judgement was read on the 10thof October. Where they got their malicious story remains a mystery to me and our family.
While we call for a more responsible journalism where all the principles of truth and justice should be meted to all parties, we want to remind you that there are facts the public needs to know before jumping to a conclusion on the sponsored stories currently in the media space.
1: Chibuzor Lilian who hails from Abia state(the eastern part of Nigeria) never had a bride price or dowry paid by Mr Ayodeji Obayan who hails from Ondo state. There was no legal binding on them as a couple. They started cohabiting around year 2000.
2. The relationship between Ayodeji and Chibuzor Lilian was a toxic affair whilst they were cohabiting. Ayodeji was a bully and an abuser. He abused Chibuzor Lilian both physically, mentally, emotionally, verbally and otherwise until she decided to run for her dear life with her four children when the situation became unbearable in the year 2017
3: In the Igbo culture, if a woman gets pregnant out of wedlock and gives birth without the dowry being collected by her family, the child bears the woman’s maiden name. There is no way the father of the child can lay claim to the child/children if he hasn’t paid their mother’s dowry.
4: Chibuzor Lilian being a submissive woman who fears God and follows His leadings has always covered up for Ayodeji’s inadequacies and short comings with love and humility but Ayodeji keeps taking advantage of her submissiveness.
5. She was the pillar of the relationship Financially but she never Lord it over the man still, his greed and selfishness accompanied with over bloated Ego won’t let him see things clearly. Tell me which reasonable man dumps his partner? Ayodeji would stoop so low as collecting Five Hundredthousand naira from Chibuzor Lilian for a child’s school fees that is less than One Hundred and Fifty thousand naira. Tell me if that is not fraud? Or is it his political ambition? Chibuzor Lilian single handedly funded Ayodeji’s Ambition yet, he was still ungrateful…
6. Tell me, which man in his right senses threatens a woman of killing her whilst she was mourning the death of her father? It’s only a diabolical Egocentric man like Ayodeji . He told Chibuzor Lilian he was going to kill her after she loss her Dad. And that our father whom he fears is dead, who will protect her?
7. Countless times, Ayodeji has physically abused Chibuzor Lilian and left her with severe injuries both physical and internal injuries thereby landing her in the hospital in Nigeria and even abroad. The court also confirms that.
8. On many occasions, Ayodeji has verbally abused Chibuzor Lilian, he goes as far as bragging to her that he has another marriage with someone else is way better and that Chibuzor Lilian was below his standard. He, Ayodeji is a self-acclaimed politician.
9. Chibuzor Lilian had to run for her dear life with her fourchildren, that was when she found love and happiness elsewhere and decided to follow the pathway of happiness. Who wouldn’t?
10. It was also the same Ayodeji that will be calling the children he and Chibuzor Lilian had as Bastards whenever they try to protect their mother from his numerous battering.
11. Let it be known that the children from this union are not kids, they age , 23yrs(1st born) 21yrs (2nd born) 18yrs (3rd born) and 16yrs (4th born) they are grown and can make decisions for themselves. They saw the maltreatments being meant on their mother by a man who is supposed to be their father. Now they are happier without him and have chosen a path of happiness without Ayodeji.
12. Prophetess Chibuzor Lilian Abua was never in another relationship until Ayodeji left the relationship. Now, she is happily married to Apostle Prince Abua and their marriage is legal with the full support of our family.
So, the whole narrative that she abandoned her marriage for another man is all hog-wash and a deliberate media campaign not only to tarnish her image but also a deliberate attempt cleverly calculated by a lazy man whose stock in trade is to take advantage of a vulnerable woman.
While we don’t want to engage Ayodeji in media fallacies, we employ media practitioners to always cross check their facts before going to bed with their stories, if not for the sake of the innocent children but for the sake of posterity, justice and fairness.
In the final analysis, the court do state that there was no marriage in the first place to dissolve but that they were constrained by natural justice to put an end to a union that has gone sour, so where did the reporters get their ‘marriage’ dissolution story from?
THIS WOULD BE FAIRER REPORT….
An Ondo State Customary Court sitting in Oke Eda, Akure, the state capital, has finally ended the protracted union between Prophet Ayodeji Obayan and Prophtesss Lilian Chibuzor Abua.
At the final ruling on Tuesday, Magistrate Segun Rotiba, while dissolving the union between both parties who have been co-habiting for 23 years with four children, said following evidence before the court, he has no hesitation than to dissolve the union.
He also insisted on his earlier ruling over the custody of the four children who are all adults to their mother, who has been rising them alone.
“Following these same principles and evidence before the court I am constrain beyond any form of doubt that the petitioner has not fulfilled the above stipulated ingredient for a customary marriage.
He said while the evidence of the respondent and her witnesses was very consistent and accurate with their evidence, the inconsiderably inconsistencies of the petitioners and his witnesses to prove to be their Waterloo.
“I therefore ruled that the petitioner failed to establish the existence of a valid customary marriage.”
He said for the fact that the petitioner was not been able to approve the existence of any customary marriage does not in any way stop the court from making a pronouncement on the relationship or union between the petitioners and the respondent as established in evidence, more so that law empowers them to rule on a union of this nature.
“In dissolving the union therefore,” the judge said since evidence shows that though both has once lived and had four children together, he has no hesitation than to dissolve the union based on the established fact that woman is now legally married to Prince Abua Obi
He, however, frowned at the timing of respondent change of name for the children, especially when the matter was before the Court.
Responding to the rulings both counsel to petitioner and respondent, hailed the judgment of the learned judge.
Pastor EMMANUEL AZUBUIKE