A romance that has lasted 15 long years between a Nigerian-born Danish citizen, Kelvin Martins and Nigerian lady, Sandra Agho that produced a son has gone sour resulting in allegations and counter allegations between the two, according to Vanguard
At the centre of the controversy was how the product of the relationship, a four-year-old Johnnes Owen Martins found his way to Denmark when he was two years.
Also in dispute was whether there was a traditional marriage between Sandra and Martins as alleged by Sandra or that Sandra only consented to bear a child for Martins because his wife couldn’t have a child due to cancer as claimed by Martins.
Sandra was therefore accusing Martins of deceiving her into handing over her son to him and thereafter using interpol to ban her from visiting Denmark to have custody of her son.
These have now become a subject of police investigation and involvement of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Human Persons and other related offences (NAPTIP), Interpol and the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission.
The issues became public last week when Martins instructed his lawyer, Douglas Ogbankwa to reclaim his property from Sandra.
I’m married to Martins — Sandra
In a petition dated July 29th, 2022, and addressed to the Inspector General of Police, (IGP), Sandra accused Martins of child trafficking, deceit and abduction.
Part of her petition reads, “I am constrained to bring to your notice the fraudulent act of my husband, Mr Kelvin Uyi Martins, who dishonestly asked for my hand in marriage from my parents and I stayed with him in his house at GRA, Benin City, Edo State for fourteen years. Subsequently, I got pregnant and had a baby boy on 16th March, 2019. He invited me to pay a visit to Denmark with my child and the trip was scheduled for the 14th August, 2019. But my visa was blocked.
“My child was flown to Denmark and finally taken over by my husband. Thereafter he sent me a divorce letter and asked me to move out of his house while he sent some assassins in Benin City after me so that he would continue to be with our child in Denmark with another barren woman who cannot bear a child for him. It is unfortunate that he used me as a baby producing machine.”
Recounting her experience to journalists in Benin City, Sandra said, “on March 6 2021, I had a traditional marriage with Martins. How can he deny that there was marriage? This was a marriage where the venue was paid for, marriage materials were provided and over 100 people were in attendance including his friend. There is a video to the effect and other evidence which will be produced at the appropriate time. My interest is not in any property of Martins but my son. I need my son back to Nigeria”. She said
Sandra dismissed allegations that she wanted to appropriate Martins’ properties adding that all the landed properties she bought jointly with him were in his name.
She said the Toyota Hi-lander jeep Martins was asking for was a gift from him when he delivered a baby boy and that the Interpol and other relevant agencies were aware of the matter.
One Goddy Orhorho who claimed to be a cousin to Martins said Sandra was properly married to Martins who was unable to attend the ceremony then and asked him and other family members to stand in for him.
He said, “I am actually related to Martins. Sometime in 2021 myself and some family members related to Martins went to marry this young lady on his behalf. There was no issue then and even a few weeks after the marriage, Martins came to Nigeria and took us to a hotel to host us in appreciation of what we did on his behalf.
“After that, he also took us to his house in Ugbor. Martins is my cousin. At the time the marriage was conducted Martins’ father was sick and because he wasn’t in good relationship with his siblings, he sent me and Mathew Ogiame to organize other family members”.
However, when contacted, Mathew Ogiame who was said to have attended the marriage denied ever attending any marriage as claimed.
According to him, “there was nothing like marriage. What I saw was a party. When I got there none of Martins’ brothers, sisters and parents were there. Let her bring the video or photograph to justify her claim. I was deceived to be there. Since we are Martins’ friends we didn’t want to just leave like that so that they would not see us as bad people. I don’t know anything about marriage. It never happened.” Also, a family member of Martins, who did not want to be mentioned, corroborated the position of Ogiame, saying, “one thing I know is that Kelvin was legally married to a South Korean woman named Mina and the entire family is aware of it. I don’t think he was married to any other person. If they said Sandra was married, ask her who was there when they got married? In Benin, if we want to marry, the families of the boy and the girl usually come together and go for the marriage.” Before the demise of Mina, Sandra was said to have flown to Tanzania to meet with Martins and Mina where the idea of having a child for them since Mina could not conceive as a result of ovarian cancer was allegedly muted.
She was never my wife —Martins
In his own claim, Martins alleged that “Sandra was the one who requested that she would have a child for me and my wife. She did that because she knew I had no child. I even offered that if she wanted to see our child I could make an arrangement and we would meet in Dubai but they don’t want that. The Interpol warned me not to go to Nigeria. Johannes is my biological son. If a child is not with his mother, he is with his father”.
Martins in a voice note sent to journalists said that he could not have contracted another marriage as it is against the law having been married. He said a meeting was arranged between Sandra and his late wife in Tanzania.
According to him, “my wife had insisted on meeting the person who wanted to have a child for us. She (Sandra) is the one who offered to have a child for me and my wife. She met my wife and said she was doing it because my wife had cancer and couldn’t have a child. She was like a family friend to me and my wife. After that, my wife lived for five years before she died and she started making trouble and telling lies. I challenged her to back her claims of marriage with concrete evidence.
“Sometimes in April 2022, I got a visit by the Danish Interpol with a claim that Sandra made a petition to Nigeria Interpol that I stole my child, that I was married to her. I allowed the Interpol into my apartment in Denmark due to the reason that I work with the military as well and they explained to me that there was nothing illegal the way I brought my son to Denmark.
“They said they believed she wanted a relationship with me. I told the Interpol it was not possible for me to have a relationship with her because I just lost my wife. They concluded that with all the lies against me and the Danish embassy they banned her from coming to Denmark and they sent their report to Nigeria Interpol. That is why she is now sending a petition to the Inspector General of Police, IGP in Abuja claiming that we connived with the Interpol. This can be confirmed from the Interpol in Nigeria. Since she made this petition in June nobody has contacted me again on this”
On the allegation of abduction and child trafficking, a document dated 21st January, 2020 with ref No: WLC/SPA/2020/001, from the legal firm of Obasuyi & Obasuyi in Benin titled: LETTER OF CONSENT TO KELVIN UYI MARTINS IN ORDER TO HAVE FULL CUSTODY OF HIS SON JOHANNES OWEN MARTINS) indicated that Sandra agreed to give her son to Martins
Part of the letter reads, “We are solicitors and write on the instruction of Sandra Palmer Agho hereinafter referred to as our client. Our client who is presently resident in Nigeria is the biological mother of Johannes Owen Martins who was born on March 16th, 2019. The biological father, Kelvin Uyi Martins of the said Johannes Owen Martins is presently resident in Denmark specifically at Kongedybet 2, St. TV 2300 Copenhagen, Denmark.
“This letter is thus meant to notify the necessary authorities both here in Nigeria and Denmark that our client, Sandra Palmer Agho, gives consent of full custody of Johannes Owen Martins to his biological father Kelvin Uyi Martins. This letter of consent is further supported by an affidavit of consent personally deposed to by Sandra Palmer Agho and it is our hope and anticipation that this letter is accorded the necessary attention.”
Sandra however insisted that she was tricked into this and expressed hope that with the intervention of necessary authorities and agencies, she would get justice and get her son back.
“He is our son, I cannot deny that but I want him to be with me and grow with me and after he is grown, he can come and have him”, Sandra said.