According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the absence of Justice Obiora Egwuatu of a Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday stalled the hearing in a suit filed by a former senator, Mrs Grace Bent against Precious Chikwendu, ex-wife of former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode.
The matter could not proceed due to Justice Egwuatu’s Absence.
NAN reports that the judge was a participant in the ongoing three-day judges’ seminar that is being held at the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Abuja.
The case was adjourned till October 6 for the commencement of trial.
Chikwendu, a former beauty queen, had pleaded not guilty to charges bordering on defamation of character and cyberstalking which was read to her on March 10 after she was arraigned by the Nigeria Police.
Following her not guilty plea, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Victor Okoye urged the court to remand her at a correctional facility pending the hearing and determination of the matter.
But the counsel for Chikwendu, Mr Alex Ejesieme, SAN, opposed the application.
The judge, who admitted Chikwendu to bail in the terms of the administrative bail earlier granted her by the police, adjourned the matter for trial commencement.
Chikwendu on February 14 appeared before a sister court presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo for the attempted murder of her former husband, Fani-Kayode.
However, in amended 14 counts marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/01/2022 dated and filed by John Ijagbemi on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command on April 22, the ex-wife was said to have committed attempted culpable homicide on November 24, 2018.
She was alleged to have attempted to kill Fani-Kayode, their children and other occupants of their house at Asokoro within the court’s jurisdiction.
She was also accused of making false allegations with doctored pictures with the intent to deceive members of the public and make them believe that the injuries in the pictures were inflicted on her by her ex-husband.
She had taken to her Instagram page in February 2022 to recount how she was physically assaulted by her estranged husband four months after she had her first son.
SaharaReporters had reported how Fani-Kayode and Chikwendu’s marriage crashed in 2020 over allegations of domestic violence by the former beauty queen and his counter-allegation of infidelity.
The former lovers have been in court to fight for the custody of their children — Aragorn, Ragnar, Aiden, and Liam.
Sharing a slideshow of the happy moments she had with her son before they were separated on Instagram, she had narrated how she was allegedly physically abused by the former minister when they were still together.
“You are that son that gives me peace and calm in the storm, your ability to understand me even in silence still amazes me. I know you are not ignorant of the happenings but can do nothing as you just soak things in and forge on,” she had written.
“Never underestimate the bond between your mother and you the bond that was formed right from when you were in my womb and you witnessed all the punches, you took them with me as you kicked so hard and would only calm down when I whispered and pleaded with you, affirming that you would one day wipe my tears.
“It was only at that point you would calm down and stop kicking as if you understood how those punches and harsh words froze my entire heart and soul.”
Chikwendu also recalled how the former minister allegedly beat her up when Aragorn was barely four months old.
“What haven’t we weathered together? You witnessed so many in my womb and when you arrived this world, you were barely four months old when you witnessed your mother being beaten like a puppy,” she had added.
“You were in my arms that night at the Wheatbaker Hotel after he was released from Ikoyi prison; it was all laughter at first, then prayers of thanksgiving and next, punches.
“You were dragged from my arms like a little bag of cake and I held on so tightly, the look in your eyes was that of so much fear, I looked into your eyes and I could read you clearly it was more of ‘never let me go mum.’
“So, I held on to you, the more I held on to you, the more the punches came. You cried out loudly and my heart shredded the more as the splashes of blood gushing from my nose landed on you.
“You were so terrified and all I wanted to do was get you out of that scene. I was able to get off with you and ran to the short stay apartment where Chidera and others were before you slept off on my chest after crying for so long.”