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Rights Groups Urge Governor Ugwuanyi, Police to Intervene in Plight Of Enugu Widow

 

 

A Lagos based human rights organization, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), and its counterpart in Enugu, South- East Nigeria, Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN) have appealed to relevant agencies, particularly the police to intervene in the ongoing alleged victimization and domestic war declared on an Enugu based Widow, Mrs. Annabel Moneke, by her late husband’s younger brother.

They alleged that Mr. Chukwuemeka Moneke, the widow’s brother in- law, who recently evicted her and little daughter from their matrimonial home at Emene area of Enugu, had last week’s Wednesday, physically assaulted the middle age  woman, and inflicted injuries all over her body.

A petition jointly signed by the Executive Director, of (RULAAC), Comrade Okechukwu  Nwanguma, and president of (CRRAN), Barrister Olu Omotayo, made available to African Examiner Tuesday in Enugu, said the intervention became necessary following recent threats to the life of the widow by Chukwuemenka.

However, when contacted on phone for his reaction, the accused brother Inlaw to the woman, denied attacking her, saying “all she is saying are completely lies. No body beat her. Besides, she is not our late brothers legal wife, rather she was his girlfriend

“If she is saying that she is our late brothers wife, I challenged her to produce the marriage documents. She also claimed to have had a daughter for our deceased brother, which is not true. Because of all these lies she is telling, our family has  asked her to subject herself for a  (DNA) paternal test, to ascertain if truly the girl she claims  to be our brothers daughter is indeed his blood.

The petition read thus: “We seek the urgent intervention of the Commissioner police, (CP) Enugu state, Amad Adurraham, in this case. It is a grave injustice to claim that a widow and her daughter cannot stay in her matrimonial home upon the demise of her husband.

“Such barbaric, gender-specific oppressive and discriminatory practice must be done away with in this modern age. Mrs. Annabel Moneke maintains that there is no iota of truth in the claim by Chukwuemeka,  that her
matrimonial home is a family property as all the documents relating to the property bear her late husband’s name.

“This joint petition becomes necessary in view of the beatings and grevious assault on Mrs. Annabel Moneke by Chimezie Moneke last Wednesday, though the widow said she reported to the Police investigators, but nothing was done to the assailant.

“We submit that the victimization, harassment and threat to the life of this poor widow and her daughter should be put to an end forthwith. We urge you, in the interest of justice, to guarantee the safety and property right of  Mrs. Annabel and her child and to ensure that they get justice as the circumstances of this case demands.

According to the right groups, “There is no law in Nigeria that says upon the demise of a man his property automatically becomes family property and therefore the widow and her child must be forcefully removed from the property.

They recalled that an earlier petition had  been made by CRRAN on this matter before last Wednesday attack on the widow. Mrs. Moneke is being threatened, harassed, assaulted and has “been grievously injured  by Mr Chimezie Moueke in an unlawful bid to forcefully evict her from her matrimonial home built by her late husband Izuchukwu Okwudili Moneke, and where she and her daughter had been residing with her deceased husband until his demise in July 2019.

“It was so soon after Mrs. Annabel Moneke lost her husband on the 13th day of July 2019, after a brief illness
that Mr. Chimezie Moneke started to harass her, asking her to vacate her matrimonial home  situate at No. 1, Okwudili Moneke Crescent, Sunrise, Estate, Emene, Enugu, on the
disputed claim that his deceased elder brother sold their fathers’ property to build the said house, therefore the building, a bungalow, is a family house.

They hinted that “the deceased who was formerly resident in United Kingdom had 2 children namely Jesica Moneke (18 years) and Victoria Mouneke (15 years) from his previous marriage before he divorced his former wife and returned to Nigeria and married Mrs. Annabel Mouneke who has a
daughter named Michelle Moneke with him

“Immediately after the burial of the deceased in his hometown Nawfia in Anambra State on the 5th day of December 2019, Mr. Mr. Chimezie broke
into the Moneke home on the 7th December 2019, and took possession. He only
allowed the widow access to one room after much pressure.

The petition stated that  Mrs. Moneke said she wrote a petition to the office of the  Commissioner of Police through her lawyer on December 2019 and the matter was referred to SIB for investigation, but the matter was never
resolved.

On 6th September 2020, Mr. Chimezie again in concert with others, started threatening to throw the widow out of the property entirely and to kill her and her only daughter if she didnt vacate. Mr.

“Chimezie was also sending threatening SMS messages to the poor widow. These persistent threats prompted Mrs. Moneke to write a second  petition  to the office of the Commissioner of Police Enugu State, on the 9th September 2020, and the matter was promptly referred to D12 Section, of the State Criminal and Investigation Department (SCID), Enugu where the matter is currently pending.

“Again, on the 16th September 2020, and while matter was still pending at the SCID,  Mr. Chimezie threw out Mrs. Moneke and her little daughter from her matrimonial home, seized some of her properties and
threatened to kill her and her daughter.

“On Friday 18th September 2020, the police directed that Mr. Chimezie should open the premises and allow Mrs. Anabel access to a room in her matrimonial home pending investigation, which directive was carried
out with the assistance of the Police and she stays there for now, but seeking permanent reprieve from the harassment and terror from Mr
Chimezie.

The petition, was also addressed to Speaker of Enugu
State House of Assembly, Mr. Edward Ubosi, and the state Commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development, princess Peace Nnaji.

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