The 21-year-old marriage between Mrs. Ovi Onoberhie and a retired naval officer, Captain Diamond Onoberhie, is on the line after the man allegedly beat up his wife on the premises of their son’s school in the Anthony area of Lagos.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the couple had enjoyed a good relationship for years until the wife decided to take up a job in an airline company sometime in 2012 to the disapproval of her husband.
It was gathered that Ovi’s insistence to work with the airline resulted in disagreements.
Matters came to a head sometime in 2016 when the retired captain sold their house and took custody of the 10-year-old son, Dominic.
On December 15, 2016, she was said to have gone to visit the boy in the school, Apostolic Faith Secondary School, when the husband, who was a serving officer then, intercepted her on the school premises.
He allegedly beat her up and left with Dominic.
The incident was reported to the police at the Anthony division and the mother of four children was directed to a hospital for treatment.
The case was later transferred to the state police command, Ikeja.
The 42-year-old said she wrote a petition to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, on the matter on January 6, through the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team.
A copy of the petition, obtained by PUNCH Metro
, showed that it was acknowledged on January 13.
Ovi said, “I have been married to my husband for 21 years. When things were not going on fine in the family, I decided to pick up a job against my husband’s will and he decided to punish me for that by leaving me with all the financial responsibilities in the family.
“On several occasions, he beat me mercilessly. After registering our last son, Dominic, in Apostolic Faith Secondary School, Anthony, I was refused access to him by the principal of the school, who said he acted on my husband’s instructions. I called my husband and he said he could do whatever he liked. All efforts to get my son from him were frustrated.
“Later, I was invited by the school chaplain, Rev. Ayo Adeyemo, on a vacation day to see my son. My husband got angry on seeing me with Dominic in the school’s garage and beat me up. I screamed in pain and that attracted other parents, the school management and security men.
“At this time, I was bleeding and begged the reverend to call the police, but he refused. I held onto my son and the school authorities took him from me into a building. Later, they brought him out and forced him into my husband’s car and his driver drove off.”
Ovi explained that the CP directed the Area F Command to investigate the matter, and her husband was invited by the police, but he did not show up.
“The case was later transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, but till date, nothing has been done. Since he abducted my son, I have not been allowed to see him or talk to him on the phone.
“My husband, some naval officers and hoodlums stormed our house on Tokunbo Street, Alagomeji, Yaba, and ejected me out of the house. I was beaten to the extent that I suffered a dislocation in my waist. I was admitted in a hospital for two weeks,” she added.
But the husband described Ovi’s allegations as baseless, saying that she was the one who started a fight in the school and assaulted the school’s security men.
He said, “All that she said is far from the truth. Is it possible that I abduct my son? I am his father, so how will I abduct him from his school? It was agreed that the child (Dominic) should not be released to her because she does not have moral inspiration to take care of him.
“I am now a retired naval officer, and as a result of the economic situation in the country, I decided to relocate to an apartment that I can afford in Badagry, and I don’t see this as an issue. She packed from Badagry herself.
“Nobody invited me. I was even the one who took the matter to Zone 2, Onikan, and she did not honour the police invitation.”
The school chaplain, Rev. Adeyemo, told our correspondent that there was indeed a fight between Diamond and Ovi on that day, saying that the husband had instructed the management not to allow the wife to take their son.
“We told the wife not to take the child anymore but she came. When the couple met here to pick the child on the vacation day, they engaged in a hot argument which we tried to settle. In the long run, the whole issue turned out to be a serious fight at our school park; but in the end, we were able to mediate.
“The school management decided that the child should not be allowed to resume for another session except it gets an undertaking from the parents’ lawyer and the state government,” he said.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, promised that the command would investigate the case.
He said, “Any petition dropped at the office of the Commissioner of Police, when approved, will be assigned for investigation. The case will be investigated.”