On June 28, 2023, Mrs. Ngozi Udeh filed a petition at the Human Rights Defenders and Access to Justice Advocacy Centre, Allen Ikeja Branch, Lagos State. In her official statement, she mentioned that her husband of 10 years had thrown her and her four daughters out of the mansion they built together.
The couple had been married for 10 years, and the house was recently built.
Ngozi narrates that, that June morning, she had gone to drop off her three daughters at school, but when she got back home, she discovered that her husband had locked her out of the premises. When she reached out to him, he allegedly informed her that she was no longer welcome in their home and that she should find somewhere else to live.
She called her mother-in-law and a sister-in-law who were both inside the house, but none of them came out to open the gate, she alleged.
My husband didn’t allow me to have any personal savings
This is the full story, as narrated by Mrs. Ngozi Udeh:
I got married to my husband in 2013. I loved him for who he was, but I am very shocked at the person he has become.
In the beginning, we struggled to make ends meet. We had a shop, and gradually, the business expanded to different branches. Whenever he travelled abroad, I used to manage the businesses and different projects efficiently. I was a faithful and accountable wife who remitted every single kobo earned from the shop.
My husband didn’t allow me to have any personal savings. When I noticed that he had stopped taking care of my personal needs, I started a little business of my own. However, he collected all the money I made and insisted that I could only work for him.
So, for peace to reign in my marriage, I continued working as his sales representative and business manager without receiving any pay for my services. If I asked for money to make my hair, he wouldn’t give it to me. There was a time I told him to give me money for drugs, and he said, ‘Why are you even alive? Just go and die!’
A few years after we got married, he started complaining about the sex of our children
The root of the problem is because I didn’t give birth to a male child. A few years after we got married, he started complaining about the gender of our children. So, after giving birth to three girls, I decided to try one more time.
During my fourth pregnancy, we hoped that the baby would be a male. Personally, I prayed and fasted for a son. However, God gave us another daughter, and she is just five months old. On several occasions, I have tried to make my husband understand that I have no control over the sex of our children, but he failed to reason with me.
In this marriage, I have experienced all forms of domestic violence. However, I refused to leave because I am not financially empowered to take care of four children. It hurts that the same man I stood by during the days of poverty is now sending us away. He is rich now and has five houses and many landed properties. He has been threatening to throw me out, and he eventually did it.
During my fourth pregnancy, we hoped that the baby would be a male. Personally, I prayed and fasted for a son
He told me bluntly that if I didn’t have a place to stay, I should move to one of his buildings, which is an abandoned house with leaking roof and damaged doors. I can’t even spend a night there with my kids because the place is not safe.
Honestly, my heart is broken, and I am wondering how my daughters will cope with this sad incident. They are too young to go through the trauma caused by rejection. Meanwhile, I’m also wondering how I will take care of them without any source of income. So, I’m praying that justice prevails in this matter.
I have experienced all forms of domestic violence, but I refused to leave because I’m not financially empowered to take care of four children
Upon receiving Mrs. Udeh’s report, the Human Rights Defenders and Access to Justice Advocacy Centre took immediate action. They accompanied her to the Mushin Divisional Police Station to register the complaint. After filing the case, the Senior Superintendent, Mr. Garuba Oseni, and his team went to the mansion, but Mr. Udeh reportedly refused to open the gate or talk to the police.
At the end of the day, SP Garuba Oseni booked a hotel for Ngozi, as she and her young children had nowhere else to spend the night. He also gave her N10,000 to buy food. At the moment, the case is still under investigation.