The Customary Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja Tuesday adjourned till Wednesday to hear an application by a former beauty queen Precious Chikwendu seeking access to the four children she bore for a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode.
Fani-Kayode and Chikwendu’s marriage hit the rocks in 2020 over the former’s domestic violence claim and the latter’s counter-claim of infidelity.
They have since been in a heated legal tussle for the custody of their four children.
In the application filled by Chikwendu through her counsel, Mr Abiodun Olusanya, she informed the court that she had information that one of the kids – who were all said to be in Fani-Kayode’s custody – was injured in the head.
Olusanya told the court that the ex-minister had been served via substituted means, as ordered by the court.
In the suit marked FCT/CCK8/01/043/2021, Chikwendu told the court that Fani-Kayode never consummated his six-year relationship with her.
Chikwendu said she was forced to remain celibate during the cohabitation and alleged that the four children she birthed in her affair with Fani-Kayode were conceived via artificial insemination.
She prayed the court to declare that she was never married to Fani-Kayode because, contrary to his claims, he neither paid her bride price nor performed customary or statutory marriage rites with her.
She averred that in the course of their cohabitation, she found out that despite Fani-Kayode’s denial, his marriage to his third wife, Regina, subsisted
She accused him of assaulting her several times, ordering his bodyguards to strip, lock her up in her room.
Chikwendu (the petitioner) made the averrments in her November 29, 2021 “Application for issuance of civil summons/plaint” against Fani-Kayode (the respondent) in suit FCT/CCK8/01/043/2021 filed by her counsel Mr Abiodun E. Olusanya.
She is seeking the following reliefs:
“An order declaring that there was no customary marriage between the Petitioner and the respondent (despite their six-year cohabitation) under the Nanka, Orumba North, Anambra State of Igbo native law and customs.
“Alternatively, assuming by the evidence during trial the court finds that there was a customary marriage between parties:
“An order dissolving the customary marriage between the petitioner and the respondent forthwith.
“An order granting the Petitioner access to and custody of the four children of the cohabitation between parties especially during their academic calendar
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“An order ordering the respondent to be continuously responsible for the academic, medical, clothing and welfare of the four children of the cohabitation.
“An order ordering the respondent to release and return the Petitioner’s property.”
The property includes the petitioner’s certificates and documents, trophies from the United Nations pageantry, Red Range Rover car, registered under her foundation name and the foundation’s certificates and the petitioner’s picture.
Others are the petitioner’s mother’s burial videos and souvenirs, mother’s certificates and documents, the petitioner’s clothes and personal belongings including gadgets, sewing machines left at the children’s play area and Petitioner’s fridge and kitchen gadgets for her food company, Mommy Pee Food.
Chikwendu said her relationship with Fani-Kayode, her former “estranged cohabiter,” was full of “woes, lies, deceits, quarrels, assaults, battery and domestic violence, lack of trust and absence of love, public disgrace and shame, and absence of sex due to the inability to sexually perform and intolerable behaviour of the respondent.”
She contended that there was never a marriage between the parties on the ground, among others, that the respondent “has continuously behaved in such a way that the Petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to continue to live with the respondent any further or formally enter into any form of traditional marriage with him.”
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