Bessem Okafor, the estranged wife of the pastor of Mountain of Liberation Miracles Ministires, Pastor Chris Okafor, has shown how her husband beat her up mercilessly at their home in the Magodo area of Lagos.
Bessem who left her home in 2012, said she had, a few weeks ago, gone to visit her four children who were in the custody of their father, Pastor Chris, based on an agreement.
Few hours after their children had left for school, Bessem received a phone call from Pastor Chris who had also left the house. He questioned why she was still in his house and ordered her to leave. But Bessem said she had promised her children that she would wait and see them after school before leaving.
At this point, Pastor Chris sent a policeman who was part of his entourage to the house to send his wife out.
The wife said, “The policeman told me to leave the house. At that time, I was wearing only my dress. I had washed my undies and spread them to dry since I didn’t come with extra.
The visit was said to have been arranged by a lawyer from Office of Public Defender in Lagos State Ministry of Justice, and her husband’s lawyer, Mr. Onyechukwu Ubani.
While speaking with Punch, Bessem said: “I have not seen my children for nine months and our lawyers agreed that I could come see them at home after school hours by 5pm. I went to the house at the appointed time, but my children were not there.
“I had to wait outside in the compound until 10pm before my husband arrived; the children were not with him. They were later brought home by the driver about 12am. By then it was clear I couldn’t leave again, I had to spend the night. The following morning, I bathed and dressed them for school. They pleaded with me to stay back until they returned and since I hardly spent time with them the day before, I agreed.”
It was based on her promise to her children that she stayed in the house:
“I told the policeman that I would leave after my children returned from school. Later, Chris came in and on seeing me, he started beating me and dragged me out of the house.”
She said some policemen came to arrest her, but she could not go with them because her clothes were torn.
The following day after making a complaint of assault at the Isheri Police Division, she was hospitalised at the Solid Rock Hospital, in the Ojodu/Berger area. A copy of her medical report made available Punch said she was brought in for treatment after a brawl with her spouse.
Pastor Chris, when contacted, did not respond to calls and a text message to his phone. A reporter visited his church at Ojodu on two occasions, but his aides said he was not available for comment.
When Punch contacted Lagos Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ngozi Braide, she did not respond to calls and text messages to her phone.
Anyway, Pastor Chris lawyer, Ubani, is defending him. Here is what he said:
“Bessem has made all sorts of allegations against her husband, but what she has failed to tell you is that she left her marriage of her own volition. She ended her marriage with her infidelity. She would leave her house, come back at late hours and would not tell her husband where she has been.
“The couple are already in court for divorce. This particular incident you are asking about, it was Bessem who tore her own clothes. Chris never laid a hand on her. Why did she not get a medical report from a government hospital?
“If she was truly assaulted she would have gone to the station to make a report. Then they would give her a paper to take to a public hospital. That of the private hospital is not admissible in court. Chris never refused her access to her children; they were simply brought to the church because his mother and cousin were not at home. After bringing some policemen from Isheri to arrest Chris while he was at the pulpit, she still went ahead to Zone 2 to make another report.”
The PPRO Zone 2, SP Lewi Suleimann, when contacted said, “We are still waiting to get the file transferred from the Isheri Police Station. I would not like to comment much before we get the file.”
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