A popular Nollywood actor, Kalu Ikeagwu, on Monday, told an Ikeja High Court how his estranged wife, Ijeoma, allegedly deserted their matrimonial home and prevented him from gaining access to their two children.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ikeagwu, in the suit marked LD/8939HD/2021, is seeking a dissolution of his six-year-old marriage to Ijeoma.
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The actor is also seeking full custody of his three-year-old son and ten-year-old step-daughter.
Under cross-examination by the respondent’s counsel, Mrs S.I. Amedu, Ikeagwu said his wife packed out of his house and sent him a mail that she was on her way to her father’s house in Enugu.
He, however, said contrary to her claim that he later saw her at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport with the children after some days.
He said: “I got back home from a trip on Aug. 4, 2021, to find out that my wife had left our matrimonial home with the children to an undisclosed location.
“I tried to contact her when I got to the house and found it empty.
“I sent her an email on that same day and she replied that she had gone to her father’s house in Enugu.
“She told me she was at her father’s place in Enugu and four days later, I saw her at the airport in Lagos, heading to God knows where. In the mail she sent, she said she was in Enugu.”
Ikeagwu also debunked the claim that he sent his wife and kids out of the house and failed to provide for their upkeep.
The actor further told the court that his wife denied him sex and also poured water on him while he was asleep.
The petitioner also said he was not aware that his wife lost a pregnancy due to a Sexually Transmitted Infection while they were together.
“After the birth of our son, she has refused to have sex with me. I was not aware she lost the pregnancy due to an infection as I did not give her any infection.
“Till date, I have not seen any report attached to a document that she lost a baby through STD. Though I did not ask her why she lost the baby,” he said.
Ikeagwu said he stopped sending money to the children for upkeep and maintenance because his wife denied him being the father to his stepdaughter.
He added that this was after she accused him of attempting to sleep with the child and she failed to acknowledge the money he sent to her.
“The last time I sent money to them was in November 2021. I stopped sending money because my wife denied me being a father to my step-daughter and she also accused me of wanting to sleep with her,” the actor said.
Justice Christopher Balogun had earlier ordered the children to play with their father in court and ordered the respondent to present the receipts of the tuition fees for the children in court.
Balogun said: “According to the Child’s Right Act, you can not deny the children the best education even if you’re quarrelling with your wife.
“If I should as a judgment grant you a divorce, and if your wife is in Enugu and you stay in Lagos, why should I give the custody of a 10-year-old girl to you while her mother is alive?
“The Supreme Court ruled that it is not the wealth of a father that the children of that age need, they need the care and attention of their biological mother.
“The only reason the girl child should not be in the custody of the mother is if the mother is mentally derailed or the issue of infidelity is involved.
“Assuming the girl starts her monthly period, you as a father do not know what to do. You will be scared of the blood. A female girl is delicate. Your own case is worse because an accusation has been levelled against you,” he said.
The judge adjourned the case until June 23 for a continuation of the hearing. (NAN)