A neighbour of the late gospel singer Osinachi, Grace Nnaji on Thursday told an FCT Court in Abuja, that the singer on several occasions begged her not to report her husband, Peter Nwachukwu’s abuse.
Nnaji, who is also a tailor, told the court that she met the singer when her husband approached her to make a dress for her.
Nnaji while giving her testimony led by the prosecution counsel, Aderonke Imana said that she became close to the deceased as her Aco Estate, Airport Road, Lugbe, Abuja’s shop and residence was close to the Nwachukwu’s house.
“The first time in 2014, when Nwachukwu brought her for her measurement, when they got to the house, he said idiot come out for your measurements”.
Nnaji said that she was shocked that it was his wife he referred to as an idiot.
She added that the deceased confided in her that the defendant was always hitting her at the slightest provocation.
” Ekwueme, as I used to call her, came to my shop one day with injuries on her daughter’s head and she told me that the defendant pushed her and the child into the wall”
” The daughter had fever at the same time and I was the one that gave Ekwueme money to buy drugs from the pharmacy to give her daughter
“Another time she came and showed me injuries on her back and told me that Peter kicked her on her back with his leg and she slammed into the wall with her chest.
” One day she ran to my house at about 5am and said that the previous night she locked her door and he kicked it open with his leg and proceeded to hit her on her chest.
” She fell to the floor and remained there crying until she slept off”, Nnaji alleged
She further said that the defendant was in the habit of locking his wife out whenever she went to church and she would be at the gate knocking for hours.
She said that at times it will take the intervention of neighbours before she would be allowed in and that she slept in her house for two days on one of the occasion he refused to allow her into the house.
She also testified that on one occasion he left her in church after a vigil night and while she was trying to find her way home, she was attacked by hoodlums who disposed her of her phone and bag
” When Ekwueme got home and told him about the incident, he said you are lucky you were not killed as that will have been the best thing that could have happened to you” Nnaji alleged.
Nnaji equally said that the defendant threatened that he was going to destroy the deceased’s reputation, kill her brother and that was the reason she was afraid to tell anyone about her ordeal.
Nnaji also said that when told the singer to report the abuse to the police, her family, church and also a human rights radio, she refused.
” When I told her that I was going to report to the church, she begged me not to, saying that her husband will change”
Speaking about when the deceased was ill, she said she had to sneak into her house to help me clean the house to avoid the defendant getting angry and complaining about an untidy house.
” Even when she was ill, she traveled for ministration and came back complaining about chest pain and she said she didn’t have money to treat herself
When the witness was asked the defendant’s nature of job for him to be at home always to beat the wife, she said
” I asked Ekwueme, she told me that her husband was her manager and that he does not have any other job”.
The defence counsel, I.A Aliyu who was slated to cross-examine the witness after prosecution was through, craved the indulgence of court to adjourn until Friday.
The judge, Njideka Nwosu-Iheme, however stepped down the matter until 2:30pm.
Two former employees of the deceased testified for prosecution on Wednesday and alleged that the defendant verbally and physically abused the late singer.
Nwachukwu is standing trial on 23 count charge bordering on domestic violence and culpable homicide is accused of been responsible for the death of the late gospel singer who was popularly known for her song “Ekwueme”.
Nwachukwu has been remanded at the Kuje Correctional Facility since April after his wife’s death.