CP Idowu Owohunwa

CP Idowu Owohunwa

Juliana Francis

Members of the Advocates for Children and Vulnerable Person Network (ACVPN) have demanded the immediate removal of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), in charge of Ajiwe Police Station, Mr. Adolf Ogwu, over unprofessional conduct.

This call followed an unwitting discovery that the DPO has been passing information to a rich millionaire called Ikechukwu David Onwukwe, who is a person of interest in a children’s custody case.

This reporter has exclusively reported a story about one Mrs. Adeola Onwukwe, who has been having marital squabbles with her husband Ikechukwu over who has the right to the custody of their four under-aged children.

During the troubles, Ikechukwu disappeared with their four underaged children, with the youngest just three years old, relocating to Owerri in Imo State.

The forceful separation of Adeola from her children caused her to become distraught and depressed, this was even as she alleged that Ikechukwu took to beating after marrying a new, woman whom he currently lives within Imo State. Incidentally, the new wife now has a baby and Adeola wanted hers to be returned to her.

Child Rights Advocates and Psychiatrist have also insisted that Adeola’s children should be returned to her as prescribed by Child Rights Act, but her husband has allegedly refused to obey the law.

According to Adeola, in order to attain justice and get her children back, she had gone to different police stations, including Ajiwe Police Station.

She further alleged that any division she goes to, immediately after her millionaire gets there, the case would turn against her.

She also alleged that a Policewoman at Ajiwe Police station called Abosede had slapped her in the presence of her husband and that Ikechukwu even slapped her in the presence of police personnel at the station, and nothing was done to him.

She said Policemen at the Ajiwe division helped her husband in moving her things out of her matrimonial home.

Following journalism ethics, our reporter reached out to Ikechukwu to hear his side of the story, he, however, claimed that the reporter was interacting with the wrong person when our reporter sent his pictures, which were made available by Adeola to his WhatsApp, he said the reporter should speak with his lawyer.

He then provided the phone contact of his lawyer, Chimezie Onwuama. The lawyer, speaking on behalf of his client, said that the matter was of the dissolution of the couple’s marriage, and it was pending at a customary court. When our reporter asked why the matter was not charged to Family Court since the issue was about custody of the children, he replied that the couple had a traditional marriage.

He also alleged that Ikechukwu had issues with his wife because she had an affair with an Uber driver. He claimed that Adeola was violent, had attacked him with a pen, and had been receiving treatment at a psychiatric hospital, Yaba, Lagos.

The Programmes officer of ACVPN, Ms. Blessing Aderemi, speaking from a professional standpoint, said that alleging Adeola of mental challenge and having an affair, were allegations meant to discredit and question her integrity as a woman. She opined that it was another onslaught against Adeola.

She insisted that ACVPN was after the rights of the children and that according to the law, the children should be with Adeola. She also said that Adeola showed signs of being psychologically and emotionally abused.

Our reporter further reached out to the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Benjamin Hundeyin, to find out why police were thwarting the case of Adeola and seemingly appeared to be pandering to the whims and caprices of Ikechukwu.

The reporter also wanted to confirm the allegation of a Policewoman named Abosede slapping Adeola, and other police members moving her items out of her matrimonial home at the behest of Ikechukwu.

The reporter further asked Hundeyin why the matter was not charged to Family Court by the Police.

The DPO, speaking through Hundeyin, said that what he investigated was a case of stealing in the home of Ikechukwu and not a case of child custody.

He also denied all other allegations made by Adeola against the police personnel at Ajiwe Police Station.

DPO Ogwu would later get across to Ikechukwu, divulging questions posed by the reporter to Hundeyin. Ogwu was also believed to have forwarded a WhatsApp message of the questions sent to Hundeyin by the reporter, to Ikechukwu.

This caused barrister Chimezie Onwuama to write to the reporter’s office, alleging professional misconduct by the reporter.

Part of the legal document, which highlighted and showed the unprofessional conduct of the DPO Ogwu is reproduced here: “This evening, our client was informed by the DPO Ajah Division, of the Nigeria Police Force, that he had been contacted by Ms Francis. Our client was further informed that in addition to harassing the DPO, Ms. Francis made several false statements, which she attributed to our client. Evidence of the communications made by Ms. Francis were transmitted to our client by the DPO and the same are in our possession.”

The Co-founder of ACVPN, Mr. Ebenezer Omejalile, reacting to the conduct of the DPO Ogwu, said: “Police DPO reporting issues to… I don’t know whether to call him a suspect or a complainant. This is so unprofessional!

“This has clearly shown that the current DPO Ajah police station is on the payroll of the perpetrator. What a shame! This is one of the reasons we clamoured that the entire Ibeju-Lekki Area Command should be completely purged of such officers.

“Imagine the number of police stations the victim (Adeola) visited in order to retrieve the underage children, rather she was humiliated and branded a mad woman.

“The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) should take note of this report regarding Ikechukwu’s lawyer. They didn’t see it coming, they thought they had successfully shut the victim up with so many blatant lies. We have seen so much wickedness in this case. I repeat, that the entire Ibeju-Lekki Area Command should be purged completely.”

Omejalile said everyone should be treated just and fair, irrespective of social status or gender.

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