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Crime & Punishment of Wednesday, 29 December 2021


Child Visit: Ex-wife accuses Fani-Kayode of shunning court order

Femi Fani-Kayode with ex-wife, Precious Chikwendu Femi Fani-Kayode with ex-wife, Precious Chikwendu

Precious Chikwendu, the estranged wife of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has accused him of shunning a court order directing him to grant her access to her children during the festive period.

The former beauty queen had dragged Fani-Kayode before the Customary Court of the Federal Capital Territory over the custody of the four children between them.

However, pending the determination of the suit, Chikwendu’s lawyer, Abiodun Olusanya of Emeka Uchegbulam & Co, said the court on December 8 directed the estranged couple to work out an arrangement to allow the children’s mother to see them during the Yuletide.

According to Olusanya, a letter was written to Fani-Kayode through his lawyer, Adeola Adedipe, requesting to see the kids on Saturday, December 18; Saturday, December 25; and Saturday, January 8, at the Central Park, Abuja, from 9 am till 6pm.

Olusanya added that Chikwendu, who went to Central Park on December 18 from 9 am till 6 pm, did not see the kids as they were not brought to her.

His letter to Fani-Kayode read in part, “Be reminded that on the 8th day of December 2021, wherein the above suit came up for hearing, their honours at the hearing of both counsels in open court, ordered that the petitioner be granted access to her children during the festive period and that counsel should agree on the days, times and where the children would be brought for the petitioner to spend time with her children.

“Sequel to the said order, we discussed with the petitioner, though she would have loved to see her children every day, but in fairness, we hereby request the children be made available on the following three days, location and time; Saturday, 18th day of December 2021, at Central Park, Abuja, from 9am till 6pm, and Saturday, 1st day of January 2022, New Year’s Day, at the same venue and time as above.

“Kindly note that should your client reserve any objection to this date, we suggest that the petitioner be allowed access to her children on Saturday, 25th day of December 2021, Christmas Day, as an alternative to the 1st day of January, and Saturday, 9th January 2022, same venue and time.“Our choice for the suggested location is borne out of our client’s decision not to visit her children at your client’s residence due to the traumatic experiences she had at the same venue. We believe in total regards to the order of the court and paramount interest of the children that our request would be positively considered and agreed to.”

Responding to the letter, Fani-Kayode’s lawyer noted that the proposition would be discussed with his client and he would revert.

However, in another letter dated December 17, 2021, Fani-Kayode, through his lawyer, accused the kids’ mother of inciting the public against him.

The letter read in part, “Please refer to our letter of 14th December 2021. A copy of the letter is herewith attached. In the said letter, we urged for time to confer with our client on your propositions. Unfortunately, whilst we were still broaching the issues with our client for a possible compromise, on 16th December 2021, Ms Precious Chikwendu (your client) elected to incite the public against Chief Femi Fani-Kayode vide various social media platforms. She misrepresented in the public domain that our client had violated the order of the court without disclosing in good faith the content of our prompt response to you.

“We reckon with your nobility and sincerely believe that you could not have authorised your client’s decision to frustrate the process of agreement between counsel as admonished by the court. Your attention is being called to this misleading disposition of your client because it smacks of bad faith.

“For the records, our notice of preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court is still extant. This being the case, our client is convinced that it is appropriate to appeal the order of court made on 8 December 2021, because ab initio, the court lacks the requisite jurisdiction to entertain the suit. Accordingly, we have lodged an appeal against the said decision and have equally filed a motion on notice to stay execution of same.”

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