John Edobor was at ENCOMIUM’s Place on Thursday, November 17, where we took him up on some of the allegations…
Did you completely neglect your wife and three children all through the time that you were separated?
That is not true. We were not separated per se. When her financial crisis happened, l did that to save the lives of my children and her own life. We agreed (that she should leave Ajah). The threats were becoming too many.
There was an incident that happened when she was taking the children to school. One of her creditors stopped them and wanted to seize the car. And the kids were in the car crying. I got that report from one of the mistresses from the school, that see what has happened to your family today.
I could not have allowed that to continue. Staying in Ajah at that point in time was a problem for her.
But did you take them off your medical insurance from Zenith Bank?
That is not true.
She claimed you took them off?
It is not true. She’s claiming all sorts of things. For me to take them off, l need to write to my company. And there’s a file for my family in Havana. I have not written to Havana as regards that. So, l couldn’t have just verbally taken them off my insurance.
Why did you leave Zenith? Is it because of this incident?
Yes. She wrote to Zenith, and the organizations (fighting her cause) wrote to Zenith, threatening Zenith. And every write up she does, she always attaches Zenith. It became a reputation issue for them (Zenith).
She made you lose your job?
She claimed that you came back into their lives (your wife and three children) in Easter 2016. Is it true? After you went to plead with the father, and he gave you the address (of their Surulere flat), and she allowed you back…
If that is correct, why was she pregnant for me? She took in in November 2015. So, how come she took in in November?
Yes, l came to plead with the father for them to come back home. Because the father kept insisting that l must come with my family to come and beg before they could come back. And l had done that severally. And she was pregnant, her last menstrual period was on November 24. It is documented. Her EDD (expected date of delivery/estimated due date) was in August 2016.
We will come back to that. Why exactly did your wife leave the Ajah house? Because she claimed you threw her out of the house in the middle of the night…
That is not correct.
What exactly happened?
What happened was simple. When those men and women were coming to demand for their money as early as 5 in the morning, it became an issue. Even while l was on training, my younger sister was at home, almost being beaten up. She was actually having her bath when she was assaulted and brought out of the house…
Ivie is fond of cooking up stories.
From her story, let us highlight her story : she claimed you threw her out of the house in the middle of the night, she hung around for like two days. Two days later, you also threw the kids out of the house.
I threw the kids out of the house? I couldn’t have done that. Those are my lovely kids. For you to know, allow those kids to see me. You will see how they will rush at me. That story is…
How did she leave? According to you…
She left after we had agreed. She even came to pack the rest of her merchandise to sell. If you look at the mail, there were instances where l was asking her about the creditors payments. I told her l was meeting up with these, like those in my office. I was paying them…
She borrowed money from your office, from your colleagues?
Yes, she borrowed money from my colleagues without my knowledge.
How many of your colleagues?
Two of them.
Like how much?
I have the list. I was never aware of it. Vivian and Victor’s wife… She even told Vivian that she should not let me know. That’s what she also told Victor’s wife.
It was later that Victor, my colleague, who is Ishan like me, told me jokingly. It became an embarrassment for me. I had to quickly sort that out.
And l asked her, how come you borrowed from these people without my knowledge?
A case in hand is even this lady, our neighbour, a retiree (Mrs. Onimole). Since she packed into our estate, l never set eyes on her. I left home early and came back at night. That incident was the first time l met her. She came to me to ask for her money (N600,000).
She said it was so bad we were meeting on the issue of borrowed money…
When she claimed that you threw her out of the house, she said she, along with the kids, stayed with your late cousin. That you now quarreled with your cousin living in Ajah at the time who accommodated them…
You know what she did? When she left the house after we had agreed, she now said she wanted to stay back in Ajah because of the children’s school. I told her it would be dangerous since l was hardly at home. I went to work early, and came back late. It would be bad.
That Sifo is close, why not stay there. But we actually agreed that she should stay in Orile (with her father). That would be better, because it is farther, away from her creditors.
Why did you now quarrel with your cousin?
I never quarreled with Sifo. Sifo is late now… This money l am talking about, this N25 million debt is even small. When we had a meeting, myself, Sifo and Otakpen, along with her aunt, went to meet lvie’s father in his office in Surulere. When we got there, the father even told us that he borrowed money for her. When we calculated, it was like N31 million.
She was lying that her father was sick? That’s what you found out…
Yes. She kept telling people that her father was sick. That her father was involved in an accident. There was one lady, Karibe-Whyte, Peace Alabi, they work in Total. She knew them when we got married. She even called them that l was losing my job, that l took money from the bank’s vault. That the bank was going to sack me, she needed their assistance.
She kept cooking up lies to borrow money from people.
What was she using the money for?
Nobody knows, till date.
Did she at least stay in a hotel for three weeks?
Not at all.
She said she had to stay in a hotel after you drove her out of your cousin’s house so that the children could be near the school.
That is not true. She’s lying. She left for Orile.
But when she eventually came to pack her things, she claimed that you threw the pictures of your kids at her. That you didn’t want anything to do with them…
The pictures of my children, l still have my albums intact.
No, the ones on the wall.
I still have the ones on the walls intact. I have them in my house in Yaba.
This was in the Ajah house, you now live in Yaba…
Yes, l have everything with me. It is not true.
And at no time did you tell her that you didn’t want daughters, that you wanted sons?
There are instances l told her, l remember telling her that if people like Okonjo-Iweala, the woman fighting for Chibok Girls, have you heard them talk? Have you heard them articulate points. I used such people, and l said my daughters will be greater.
It is not the gender that matters, it is what you have upstairs.
So, you never threw the pictures at her?
Not at all. I have my pictures intact.
She claims that shortly after she left the house, you took in a divorcee who has a daughter, and you were flaunting her on social media as your girlfriend as someone you were going to settle down with.
It is very pathetic to start hearing all these stories she’s cooking up. One, that same woman, her name is Irese, was the one that did her business plan for her, for her company, Omesco Nigeria Ltd that she was using to trade. This woman also did a business plan for my neighbour. She knows her.
When that woman’s father died in Warri, because of our closeness… I knew her from our activities in the bank. I wanted Ivie to be close to people who could help her business. She knows that woman.
So, you were not flaunting her on social media?
Not at all. What happened was when she lost her father in Warri, Ivie did the booking for my flight.
She knew of your closeness and now started using it against you?
Yes, that is the truth.
She claimed that after awhile, it was her sister’s husband who helped her in offsetting a lot of the loans.
Which of the loans? Yes, this guy did his part. I couldn’t have settled all the debts. Over N30 million.
I told her, l work in a bank. You couldn’t have expected me to dip my hand in the vault, into depositors’ funds. I don’t even have access to it. The department l worked didn’t keep cash. I worked in risk management, and knew the implications…
So, how much of it did you help her to offset?
Fine and good. At the time, l was able to do like N5 million, if not more than…
She said she had to sell the goods at lower prices, and even ‘auctioned’ her wedding ring…
Ivie is fond of stories.
Are you aware she auctioned her wedding ring?
It is a lie. I am not aware of that.
She claimed at a point in time you refused to pay the school fees of your last child?
At what point? Let me show you documents. At what point did l refuse to pay my children’s school fees? Till date, l paid…
Let me clear this: did you pay 2014/2015 session?
What happened in September 2015 when you realized your children had been withdrawn from the Ajah school? That you went to the school, wanted to pay the fees and now realized that they were no longer there…
I didn’t want to pay the school fees. Normally l pay per session. But because of the financial crisis, l could only pay N500,000 for the first term. After l had paid, the principal called me two weeks later that my children were not coming to school. I said that’s not true…
She was aware that l paid the money.
The principal is alive, it is Laura Stevens School on your way to Ogombo… Go and ask them. I even approached the woman for a refund, and she said no. Because fees are not refundable. It was becoming a heated argument, but because she’s from my place, l left it. The N500,000 is still there.
She didn’t tell you she was withdrawing the kids?
You claimed that all through this period you were seeing yourselves between Friday and Sunday. How come you were not aware about the move concerning the children?
That was the period we were working on resolving the financial issues. It was after that month that we started seeing on weekends. And people in my office can testify to that. They saw her when she picked me with her car. Because at times she told me there was no point carrying two cars…
Come pick you where?
To our house, the Ajah house. We stayed there till Sunday. There was an instance where we visited one of my colleagues who was sick and admitted in the hospital. We were on our way back to Orile together.
When all these happened, the man we visited in hospital said, is that not the woman you came with? I said yes.
The people that were asking for their money, the creditors, how did you now stop them from coming to the house?
I had to incident a case in Ogombo police station after Tolu came with her family to harass my sister. I had to quickly go to the station.
So, they stopped coming?
Yes, they stopped coming. Others now kept calling me to brief me.
There was even a situation, a lady who works in SAP Energy, owed N3 million (Cynthia). She’s the secretary to the MD…
But the business was making money. That’s why you reinvested?
You first gave her N500,000. Then, N8 million. When did the business stop making money?
The business stopped making money in 2013.
The goods were no more the way they were supposed to have been.
Was she not selling?
I don’t know. She was selling, but you can’t …
The inventory, if she sells there would be money. And she was selling, but there was no money?
And she was also borrowing money from other people?
And you didn’t know what she was using the money for?
I didn’t know what the money was used for.
Is it true that you abandoned them till Easter 2016?
That’s not true. 2016? It is not true.
She claimed that at a point in time you were interrogating the children and the house help if she had a lover. You claimed also that you recorded it (the interrogation).
I did. Yes.
Why did you start interrogating them…
I did not interrogate them. What happened was this : when they came to spend the midterm break with me (in Yaba) in my house. I can even show you pictures on my phone. The next morning she left that she was going to work to tidy up her desk.
I was still on my bed, and l noticed the children opened the door and were playing with my clothes. I said what’s wrong with you people. They now said good morning daddy. They just greeted. Then, the second one (Nono) she’s very sharp, said – Daddy, let me tell you something. I said what is it?
(Let me show you some pictures: See her in my house in Yaba. See the pregnancy…)
I now asked her, what is the issue? She said there’s this uncle that always buys us ‘suya’. I said ‘suya’? Which uncle is that. She said he comes at night, buys us ‘suya’ and stays with mummy, in mummy’s room till the next day.
When l heard that, it rang (an alarm). I said what did you just say? She said he stays in mummy’s room till the next day. That was how she put it.
I said, do you know what you are saying? She said ask Fefe (the oldest one). I now said, Fefe, is it true? She said, yes, it is true. I said he buys you ‘suya’ and stays in mummy’s room? She said, yes.
She now even said that when he’s around, mummy doesn’t allow us to enter her room. I said, ‘sho’? I said hold on. Immediately l took my iPad, and said can you repeat the same thing. She now said, are you recording me? Daddy, are you recording us. I said no. Repeat what you just said. She said it again. The oldest one knew l was recording them, and when l asked her, Fefe, is it true? She said, she has said it now.
That was what happened.
I now called her… Even in our chat you will see where she admitted. She agreed that she was seeing the man while she was still pregnant.
When did you become aware of this Matthew Agbaire? When was the first time…
When the children spoke about him during midterm in May 2016.
And you confronted her?
Yes. There is even a record of me calling Matthew that night…
A day after. Because l called Matthew, l was coming from the office that night. I called Matthew, and he picked my call. I said, are you aware that you are sleeping with one, a married woman. Secondly, a woman that is pregnant? You know it is an abomination…
The guy recorded my statement and forwarded it to her.
Who gave you Matthew’s number?
She gave me…
Why would she give you Matthew’s number?
Because l asked her. I told her l wanted to know.
But she denied they were dating?
Initially. But later, she accepted after l showed her the recording of the children. She wanted to pounce on them, and l said she should leave the kids alone. I now played the video for her, and she said it’s not true that he normally comes to sleep there. That he comes to stay till 12 midnight. That they stayed in the sitting room.
I said no, kids don’t lie. They don’t say what they don’t see. That they said this guy goes into your room and stay there till the next day. What will a married man be doing in your house till 12 midnight. 12 is morning. What will the man be doing at that point in time? And you said this man is married with kids.
When did she admit that she was dating Matthew?
That same day. Because l called her in her office, and she came to the house.
When did she give you Matthew’s number?
That same day.
When did you call Matthew?
I called Matthew the second day.
What did Matthew say?
You know what happened? That day l discovered, l made her to call Matthew in my presence, in my room. She was pleading with me not to allow the matter to escalate. I said just call Matthew, l just want to hear his voice. That this is adultery. So, l said for this matter to die, just call Matthew, let me know who this guy is.
She actually called Matthew, and Matthew said, how far? Where are you? She said with him. Matthew didn’t know that l was there. He said, but you said you were not going to stay long. She said, yes. Some things came up, that’s why. She said, where are you now? He said, I am in Victoria Island where we are doing the construction work. It was as if he sensed there was something wrong because Ivie was not flowing. She was not expressive. So, he quickly cut off the call.
I said, no problem.
Back to June 18. That day, Ivie and l had actually agreed to go out to O’Jays (inside the National Stadium, Surulere) to hang out.
Let’s signpost June 18. You were coming from Ife. What do you do in Ife?
I am doing an MBA Programme in Ife. And l had packed my car in Stadium, and came back late on June 18. We had agreed to hang out.
Did you realize that that day was her father’s 72nd birthday?
Yes. She didn’t even tell me. I told her, you remember that today is your father’s birthday and you were lying that your father called you to discuss our issue. Someone that you all went to his house to celebrate with. Why will you be telling me that he called you at this time of the night to come and meet him. That’s not true. Your father l know will not call you.
Instead, he would tell you come another time. And Orile from Surulere is a little bit far. And secondly, your children, who will you leave them with at that time.
That was when we were chatting, on my way from Ife. I now told her, let me call your father. When l told her that, she now said she was no longer interested in going to Orile. That she’s going to Gbagada to see the sister. I now said, from Orile to Gbagada again? Does it tally?
We started chatting from 7 pm, on my way. And l got to Lagos around past 8…
As soon as l got to Stadium, her house is not far from there…
That day, she was not pregnant anymore?
I didn’t know. It was later l found out that she had aborted the babies…
So, l went to her house. I decided to go there, rather than go home in Yaba. Because l had slept there like four times in her house.
That house, according to her, was to be given to her cousin Emma to continue the tenancy. So that she could move to Yaba.
She was the one that went looking for the Yaba house. I gave her the cheque after asking her if it was the house she wanted. And she said, yes. That we all can move into? She said, yes.
Why did you move from Ajah to Yaba?
The children’s school had already been changed. Secondly, she didn’t want a house in Ajah again because of the financial mess.
So, l needed to change her life, to relocate. Which l did.
Did you help her to pay for the Surulere house?
No. When we had paid for the Yaba house in February, l had to rush to Edo state. My mum was sick. I took one week leave, because she had surgery on her leg.
I told her once l am back from Edo, l would come and see your dad, so just hold on. She started raising issue that her stomach was big, she didn’t want the father to know. I said, are you married to your father? If you are pregnant and your father says you can’t stay in his house, we just rented an apartment. Or you can even relocate to Ajah until we move to Yaba.
She supervised the movement of my things from Ajah to Yaba. The lorry that took my things were from her company…
When l came back from Edo, l went to see the father. As early as 4 am, l had taken off because of the traffic jam there. I got to the father’s house before 5 am. He was surprised to see me so early. First thing that shocked me was that l didn’t see her car in the compound.
We sat down and we were talking. I said, thank you very much, Sir, for taking good care of my kids and my wife. We have agreed to move in to Yaba where we rented a place. Can you please allow us to go?
He paused initially, because he didn’t know what to say. Later he now said he had told Ivie before that l must come with my family members. I said, Sir, l am married to your daughter. And you are my father, my father-in-law. You should tell me what is required. Please, allow us to go, l am begging of you.
He now said, as it is Ivie has moved to Surulere. I said, what? We just rented a house. This was in April. She rented that house (a three-bedroom flat) and moved in two days before l came back. I now repeated (to the father), she has rented a house? I chatted with Ivie last night while l was in Edo, we even spoke on phone. She never told me she had this intention.
Immediately l left the father’s house, l put a call through to her, she didn’t pick. As if the father had notified her. I now sent her a text, Ivie, where are you? She didn’t reply until l drove to Victoria Island. She now said, she’s in Surulere. I said, send me the address. She now forwarded the address.
I turned, and now went to see them in Surulere. When l got to Surulere, l said when did our plan change? She said, her stomach was growling and she didn’t want the father to know. I told her l didn’t understand. You are married, so what is the shame of telling your father that you are pregnant?
She said he had started asking questions, raising issues about it. That she’s getting too fat. I said he knows that you are pregnant. Why did you now move a day before l returned? She said she had rented the place, but her cousin, Emma, has agreed to continue the tenancy while we all move to Yaba. I said when will this happen? She said l should just give them time. That during midterm break, they would all move. So that the children won’t be stressed (from school run). I said no problem.
That same day l slept in that house. Yes, because the Yaba house had not been properly arranged.
The next day, both of us and the kids went to Yaba to rearrange the furniture and things. Hoping, believing that what she has said was true…
So, what happened on June 18? You were chatting…
Yes. I told her just get set, we are already close to Lagos, except for the traffic jam. That l would come and pick you and we hang out. That was when she started the story of Orile to Gbagada. After a while, she said she didn’t feel like hanging out again. She wanted to hang out on her own and get her mind off things. That her mind was loaded with a lot.
I said, Ivie, from one story to another. These stories are becoming too many. I said fine.
As soon as l got to Stadium, l entered my car and decided to find out what exactly was happening. She’s my wife, my kids are there. This is not a house l have not slept in before.
The belief and accord we had was that we were still all moving to Yaba anyway.
I drove to the place and met my kids alone in the house, with one 13 year old house help.
So, you could enter the house? They claimed you couldn’t enter…
I could. I met my kids all alone. And l asked them, where is your mother? This was around 9 to 10 pm. They said mummy has gone out. I said, but her car is parked outside. I now went down, saw the security guard, a Hausa boy and asked him. He said, madam has gone out. With who? The sister? Because the impression l had then was that she was going out with the sister. I asked the guard, with a lady? He said no. That it is one man that normally comes…
They know the man on that street. I said this thing is now becoming funny. I repeated it, you mean the man normally comes here? He said yes, he comes every night and they both go out. I said fine.
I became worried. I went upstairs and came down again. I said, what kind of life is this woman living? A pregnant woman? I asked the security man where l could get a drink around. And he directed me. It was already past 10. I got there and l bought the drink (stout) and l left. When l bought the drink, l saw some folks who hang around…
There was no time you were entertaining the ‘Omo oniles’, buying them drinks? They claimed you were buying drinks for them.
I only bought my drink (a stout). Two of them were asking me questions : Oga, what are you doing here at this time. I said l came to see my wife. They said, that woman with the red jeep? I said, yes. One of them now said, there’s this man that normally comes. That means everyone knows.
They now said l should buy them a drink, and l did. The two of them took their drinks and left. I took my own drink there too. Because l couldn’t have taken away the bottle. I went to the house and sat with the guard. Later, l went upstairs and came down again.
This was past 11. I kept wondering, where would this woman have gone leaving three daughters at home, with a house help…
But she said she has two house helps?
Only one, a 13 year old. I was wondering, why would she do this to these kids. I couldn’t have left them. I was concerned. I said, let me stay back. That’s a house l had slept before, it was not new to me.
I stayed because my kids’ lives were in danger. l later came down to sit with the security guard. Around 12, we started chatting. Before then her phone was switched off. I said, Ivie, can you tell me where you are? She said she’s at home. She didn’t know l was in the house. I said give your phone to my kids, and she said they were asleep. That l couldn’t talk to them. And that she was equally sleeping. What about your house help, l asked? She said she didn’t want to disturb her.
I told her, Ivie, you are not at home. You think you are talking to a baby? She was agitated. That she wanted to hang out. That if she wants to hang out, is it anybody’s business. I said, it is no one’s business, but these children are still too little to be left alone, they need to be taken care of.
She said, l am hanging out, l am drinking and smoking. I said, yes, l know…
She smokes chains. She smokes Marlboro… She stopped smoking after we got married. I thought l had stopped her. I told her, for you to bring those children in the way of God, don’t teach them those things.
You are smoking and carrying men, and they know. You are drinking, hard drinks. Brandy, gin. There was a day l saw packet of cigarettes in her room in Surulere, and l told her, you couldn’t have been leaving cigarette pack on your bed when the kids would always come around. The chat is there…
Back to our chat on June 19, she started being aggressive. I now said, you are lying. I have just been told that you actually went out with a man. She said, can’t l be free?
So, l waited. When she came back, l didn’t know the guy or his car. It was the security guard that said, that’s them. He drove in, and parked at the front of the gate. The guy alighted, and turned round to her side. She came out, and they were kissing. She didn’t know l was there. I stood up and coughed…
The guy held her, and they were kissing. I said, Ivie. Immediately she heard her name, heard my voice, she started shouting ‘ole, ole, ole’ (thief, thief, thief). I turned round, shocked. Me? Or this man that is supposed to be the real ole. Before l knew what was going on, he went to the boot of his car, opened his tool box, and brought out a hammer. He was chasing me. I needed to protect myself, because the street guards would think l am a thief. They had cutlasses and all sorts.
I quickly looked around, saw a broken chair, and took a part of it to defend myself. As soon as l did, she kept shouting ole ole. Before l knew it, she just turned and held me, held my hands. I didn’t believe what l was seeing that night.
In the course of wrestling myself from Ivie, both of us fell..
When all these was happening the security guard was there? He can bear you witness?
Yes, he was there. He can bear me witness.
Ivie and l had fallen, and the guy wanted to slam me with the hammer. She wanted him to run. When he tried to strike me with the hammer, l quickly moved my leg. And lvie was hit. She screamed, that I quickly rolled, balanced on my feet. The other street guards came, and separated us.
They said they found a knife on you. One of the neighbours who said he jumped from the balcony…
That’s not true. That’s her neighbour…
They said the neighbour had prevented you from entering that house on two occasions. And this same neighbour claimed they saw a knife on you.
He was the one that came with cutlass. I wasn’t with knife. I was coming from school. L don’t know if my books turned to a knife.
If you check all Ivie’s statement, initially she said l used a crowbar, then wheel spanner. This same guy claimed l used shock absorber. So, where did they manufacture those things from. They equally claimed l used a knife.
So, apart from the chair you took, no knife?
Nothing, because l came from school. Nothing.
Were you stalking your wife? Were you looking to catch her do something? They said you had come to the house when she was not there. That’s the claim of the neighbour who jumped from the balcony.
Does he have a record of that! To do what? Even when l was in Ajah, l never went there. It was Ivie that normally came to Ajah for weekends. Sometimes, she picks me from the office. I was not stalking her. I don’t have that time…
The twins were conceived in November 2015? Where did you think it happened?
The twins? It happened in Ajah… She was coming to Ajah frequently. We never stopped sleeping together, all through this time.
When she was in the hospital, she claimed you were threatening her. That you sent threats…
In what way?
(To be continued…)