The police authority yesterday arraigned Precious Chikwendu, the estranged wife of former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court in a charge of culpable homicide.
Meanwhile, she has been admitted to administrative bail by Justice Inyang Ekwo, after pleading not guilty to the alleged crime.
Elsewhere, another court presided by Justice Obiora Egwuatu has fixed March 10 for her arraignment in libel suit filed against her by a former federal lawmaker, Senator Grace Bent.
In a charge number: FHCABJ/CR/1/2022 filed by the Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), against Ms Chikwendu and three others, the ex-wife was said to have attempted to stab Fani-Kayode with a kitchen knife on November 24, 2018 at Asokoro, within the court jurisdiction.
Others arraigned alongside Precious include Emmanuel Anakan, Prisca Chikwendu and Osakwe Azubuike as 1st, 3rd and 4th defendants respectively, while other are said to be at large.
In a 13-count charge dated and filed on January 7, the defendants were also alleged to have committed offences bordering on cybercrime, intimidation to kill Fani-Kayode by use of Internet, threat to kill one Lauretta in order to cause her to leave her relationship with Fani-Kayode.
They were alleged to have criminally used internet to send abusive messages with intent to bully, defame and harass her ex-husband.
They were alleged to have fabricated false evidence by deposing to series of affidavits that Chief Fani-Kayode physically and sexually assaulted members of his domestics staff in inhuman conduct by causing same to be electronically published in a national daily.
Chikwendu was also alleged to have, through her Facebook page, referred to Fani-Kayode as “Mr Short Fuse,” and that on December 7, 2021.
She was alleged to have published a false imputation against the ex-minjster “by referring to him as a person who is sexually incapacitated and that he is not the biological father of the four children she had for him as a wife.”
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to all the counts, which are said to be punishable under Section 392 of the Penal Code, among others.
The prosecuting counsel, John Ijagbemi, who prayed the court for a date to commence trial. said seven witnesses would testify in the matter.
He said apart from the documentary evidence that would be tendered, electronic evidence had also been compiled to prosecute the case.
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Alex Ejesieme, SAN, counsel to the ex-wife (2nd defendant), urged the court to admit the defendants to bail based on the earlier administrative bail granted them by the police.
“Did you give them administrative bail?” the judge asked.
“Yes, we did my lord, with two sureties,” Ijagbemi responded.
Justice Ekwo, who fixed April 27, April 28 and April 29 for trial commencement, ordered the defendants to continue on the terms of administrative bail earlier granted.
He directed the prosecution to submit all particulars of the defendants to the court registrar.
In an interview shortly after the sitting, Ijagbemi said the complainant would amend the charge to include an attempt by Chikwendu to kill the four children she had for the ex-minister.
“Because there are facts available to us that the 2nd defendant (Precious Chikwendu) attempted to kill her own children which we will bring to court in the next adjourned date,” he said.
However, effort to talk to Ejesieme, lawyer to the ex-wife, was unsuccessful as he refused to grant interview.
Chikwendu, who was accused of infidelity by the former minister, was also said to have withdrawn various civil cases filed against Fani-Kayode.
Although the duo had parted ways, the former minister said Chikwendu had always been given access to her children under closed supervision due to her alleged mental challenges which could result to hurting the children.
The former minister had also alleged that Chikwendu stopped calling the children on telephone for about seven months now contrary to her habit in the past.
Her arraignment in an alleged defamation of character suit filed against her by former Senator, Mrs Grace Bent, on January 24, before Justice Obiora Egwuatu of FHC was stalled due to her absence in court.