Three months after physically assaulting his pregnant wife, Richard Folayemi, the Pastor of Victor’s Church in Ilorin, Kwara State, continues to deny the woman access to her personal belongings in the house, FIJ can report.
According to Odunola, who is currently in her third trimester, her husband is still insisting that all the said property belong to him so she won’t be allowed to take anything, despite the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Kwara.
Sent Out Barefooted In the Middle of the Night
A yet-to-be-resolved rift between the couple on January 29 led to their separation up till date. According to multiple eyewitnesses, the incident happened around 10pm when the husband became irritated by the sight of the pregnant wife’s constant vomitting during dinner.
“This woman’s reaction to her pregnancy is vomitting. That night, I visited her with my daughter to check her health when the whole event happened,” said Victoria Oni, an elderly woman and caregiver in the neighborhood of Ita Olodan, Upper Gaa-Akanbi in Ilorin town.
“My daughter usually stays with her because of her condition. We were both indoors petting her to eat some food but she just couldn’t and this got her husband annoyed as she kept vomiting.”
“The husband angrily said he would get the wife hospitalized if she did not get well quickly and that generated some exchange of words before the bloody quarrel. This man slapped his wife right in my presence and even injured her as a result of several beatings with the church speaker’s wire.”
At the height of the altercation, the woman offered to take Odunola into her own house when Richard sent her out of the house that midnight.
Narrating her experience, Odunola said: “I was sent out barefooted with a top and a short around 1am. This is not even the first time he would beat me. Before now, I had been beaten to the extent of losing consciousness.”
Odunola said she had reported the case to the NHRC, Ministry of Women Affairs and even the Kwara State Police Command.
“I am no longer interested in the relationship because he will end up killing me,” she said. “I just want him to allow me to pick my things and he should be responsible for taking care of his baby in my womb.”
‘No talk till we meet in person’ — Husband
FIJ reached out to Pastor Richard for his part of the story but he refarined from making any comment over the phone.
“If you want to see me, you will have to come to the church and identify yourself as a journalist. All you have seen is a lie. Simple as A, B, C,” he told FIJ on Tuesday.
Women lawyers weigh in
FIJ learnt that Pastor Richard was summoned before the Ministry of Women Affairs on Tuesday. Odunola also confirmed to FIJ that the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria has now stepped in to investigate the case.
“We are not in the position to specifically tell her to file for divorce but if that is what she wants, she may go ahead,” Gloria Okoduwa, the Kwara State chairperson of FIDA, told FIJ.
“We are only coming in because this is a woman who has been violated. At the moment, we are conducting our investigation over the case and our position is to get the man arrested and charge him to court for domestic violence at the appropriate time.”
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