Tuesday, 18 September 2012
VIOLENCE!! My Soldier Husband Brutalized Me, Took My Kids Away
A woman, Maryrose Onuigbo, has urged the Nigerian Army authorities to prevail on her soldier husband, Kenneth Onuigbo, to reunite her with her children.
“I don’t want any other thing on earth apart from being reunited with my three children,” Maryrose said.
Maryrose told PUNCH Metro that Kenneth, an army sergeant attached to 81 Division, Lagos, was a hot-tempered man who brutalised her occasionally even when she was pregnant.
She said he brutalised her during an argument on June 23, 2012 after which she fell unconscious.
Maryrose said, “He left us for over two weeks without sending money for upkeep and he even prevented me from working even though I am a graduate. When the frustration became too much, I sent him a text message saying I would bring the kids to his office and report to his boss.
“He came home that evening and an argument ensued. He picked up an iron bucket and struck me in the head with it, making me to fall unconscious.
The graduate of Mass Communications from Enugu State University of Science and Technology said she was rushed to a hospital but before she was discharged, her husband had sent her children to an undisclosed location and denied her access to them.
She added that she had reported the matter to the military authorities but nothing had been done since then.
She said, “I was rushed to a military hospital after the assault but there were complications so I was transferred to a private hospital. My husband collected my phone and I was on admission for two weeks. No one contacted me and the hospital bill was accumulating. In fact, Kenneth abandoned me there.
“When I regained my strength, I reported to Col. Minimeh, the Commanding Officer, DARRR. He then directed the Military Police to handle the matter and Kenneth wrote an undertaking that he would pay the hospital bill which was about N150,000 and was detained.
“Brig. Gen. Yaki told Kenneth to bring the children back to Lagos and even gave him N10, 000 as transport fare. The Brig.Gen also gave me N10,000 to buy foodstuffs.”
Maryrose however said Kenneth returned after a week later without the children, saying that his family refused to release them.
She said she received phone calls from her in-laws that she would never see her children again.
However Kenneth refuted the allegations against him and accused his wife of infidelity.
Kenneth said he had paid the hospital bill, adding that his wife knew where the children were.
He said, “I paid the N150, 000 and I’ve told her to go and meet the children in my family’s place. We are still legally married and I’m the head of the family.
“I don’t even know where she is and this doesn’t speak well of a married woman. In fact, I will go to a police station and report her as a missing person.”
When asked why he did not bring his children back to Lagos despite being ordered by his boss to do so, Kenneth said his boss had no right to give such an order.
He said, “This is purely a family matter and the military authorities have no right to order me on how I should carry out my responsibilities as the head of the family.
“In fact, I have already written a petition against my boss for detaining me unlawfully and interfering in my private life.”
Meanwhile, Maryrose has approached a non-governmental organisation, Project Alert on Violence Against Women, to intervene.
The Director of the group, Dr. Josephine Effa-Chukwuma, said cases of domestic violence being perpetuated by security agents had risen in recent times.
“These cases are on the rise. Ironically, one of the army officers handling this matter is also guilty of domestic violence and his wife is also in our care. I think the army authorities need to look into this problem and make sure that errant officers are punished,” she said.
Chukwuma said her organisation had reported the matter to the army authorities but the case was dragging.
In a letter signed by the Major Eboh on behalf of the director of DARRR and addressed to Project Alert on Violence Against Women, the military authorities promised to give the matter full attention.
Similarly, the Public Relations Officer, 81 Division, Lt. Col. Kayode Ogunsanya, said he was handling the matter.
“The issue in question has been referred to me for further investigation and counselling,” he said.