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By Veronica James
A Lagos Chief Magistrate 1, Mrs Balogun L.Y. ,may have landed herself in a small trouble ,over a court consent judgement she delivered, where she allegedly shared a controversial two storey building under Bank mortgage loan litigation ,and evicted the alleged Female property owner, Mrs. Maryanne Mgbeahuruba, from her apartment, in favor of the estranged husband, Mr. Samuel Ifeanyichukwu Mgbeahuruba,who is facing domestic Violence Criminal Charges before her court at Yaba Magistrate court 3, Lagos State.
Maryanne according to Police information , Welfare, Local Government, Lagos State Agency and court processes, is a victim of domestic Violence by estranged husband, Mr. Samuel Ifeanyichukwu Mgbeahuruba, which necessitated him to be dragged to Magistrate Balogun’s court by the Inspector General of Police, through the FCID annex ,Alagbon, Ikoyi Lagos, in a Case delineated as Charge No : C/116/23.
Our Correspondent who sighted the consent Judgement delivered by Magistrate Balogun, reports that Mrs Maryanne, was not represented by her lawyer, Bartholomew Ajagbo Esq,the day she was summoned into the Magistrate’s Chamber for ‘ discussion ‘, that gave birth to the contested Consent Judgement, whereas the husband and his lawyer were fully represented.
Maryanne , outside the court alleged that the “Chief Magistrate,whose body language and reactions appeared at ease with her estranged husband and his lawyer, Mr.Chinedu Nwosu, inside the Chamber, intimidated her and denied her right to speak out her mind despite her protest”.
She therefore expressed shock and surprise to see the purported court consent judgement sharing and assigning three flats , part of the penthouse of her building, she said that she built with bank loan ,to her estranged husband, with instructions that she must vacate to another apartment and report for compliance on January 8, 2024.
In her Appeal petition against the controversial judgement by Magistrate Balogun,apportioning her building, Maryanne through her Lawyer, Bartholomew Ajagbo, in a motion on notice, dated 28th, December,2023, asked the court to stay Execution of its Judgement ,pending the determination of the appeal.
The affidavit in support of the motion, sworn to by the litigation Clerk of Bartholomew N. Ajagbo Esq and Edwin Madubuofu Associates, located at 42 Alli Street, Lagos Island, Mr. Gani Okeowo, made an oath declaring that ,Maryanne was dissatisfied with the Content of the Consent Judgement, hence the appeal.
He drew the attention of the Court to a pending Charge against Samuel Ifeanyichukwu Mgbeahuruba,before the honourable court, which he said, was through the charge that the consent judgement was delivered on 20 of December,2023.
Okeowo,contested that the court Deviated in its ruling,because the subject matter of the litigation in the suit, was clearly a criminal charge against Samuel Ifeanyichukwu Mgbeahuruba , hence the Magistrate might lack the jurisdiction to hear and deliver consent Judgement as it did on December 20,2023.
In the Written address supporting the motion on notice, Barrister Bartholomew Ajagbo, started thus :
“This is a motion on notice brought pursuant section 6 (6), (A&B) of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), section 273 of the Lagos State administration of criminal justice law 2015 with amendment 2021, under inherent jurisdiction or the Honourable Court.To the Order 54 of the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules 2004 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the Honourable Court pursuant to Section 6(6) of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
He therefore asked for “AN ORDER for the stay of execution of the consent judgment (or order of this Honourable Court delivered on the 20/12/2023 by His Honour, Mrs. L.Y. Balogun (Chief Magistrate 1) pending the hearing and determination of Appellant/ Applicant’s appeal AND for such further or other orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case”.
Stating the grounds for the application, he referred to the motion papers, which he relied on the 9 paragraphs affidavit deposed to Mr. Gani Okeowo, Litigation Clerk in the Law Firm of Bartholomew Ajagbo & Edwin Madubuofu Associates; Counsel to the Applicant, and the paragraphs of the aforesaid affidavit especially paragraphs 2 – 9.
According to his brief Statement of Facts as contained in the affidavit in support of the application, he noted that the issues for determination is ‘whether the Applicant herein, is entitled to an order for stay of execution of the Consent judgment of this Honourable Court pending the outcome of her appeal to the Court of Appeal’.
On legal argument, the Counsel noted that to succeed in an application for stay of execution, the Applicant must show, first and foremost, that there is a pending appeal against the judgment the execution of which is sought to be stayed. However, it is settled law that appeal does not operate as a stay”.
“To succeed again, the Applicant must show exceptional circumstance which will persuade the Court to grant a stay. The Applicant ought to show such special circumstance which makes it imperative for the Court to put a hold on execution of the consent judgment pending the outcome of the appeal.”
He then referred the court to the affidavit in support and Exhibits ‘A’ ‘B’ and ‘C’ attached thereto and
the case of Elf Marketing (Nig.) Ltd. v. J.L. Oyeneyin & Sons (1995), which Shows therefore that he has submitted and that an appeal is already pending against the said consent judgment.
With regard to the special circumstance, Maryanne’s legal team referred the court to paragraphs 2 to 9 of the affidavit in support. “These paragraphs show that the Applicant’s right to fair hearing was absolutely infringed upon vide the consent judgment”.
While Urging the court to grant the application, Ajagbo , submitted therefore that the above paragraphs are sufficient proof that the Applicant has made out the necessary exceptional circumstances which is important in the Court’s exercise of its discretion to grant the reliefs sought.
Earlier, the Counsel to Maryanne had deposed through the litigation Clerk that the Respondent, Who is the Inspector General of Police , through the Officer In Charge, OC Legal Department, Inspector Tosin Adebayo, Prosecutor, Legal Department,Force CID Annex, Alagbon, Ikoyi, Lagos, would not be prejudiced if the application is granted.
Part of the controversial court consent judgement delivered on December 20,2023, reads thus : ” Upon the facilitation of reconciliation by this court, the victim ( herein referred as nominal complainant (with abbreviation – NC) and the defendant hereby agreed as follows : 1, with respect to the protection of the NC and to prevent further domestic violence and disorder, the parties have hereby agreed that the NC moves into the flat which is presently occupied by her nephew; while the defendant remains in the matrimonial flat.Both flats have equal facilities.)”
With respect to the management of the remaining 6 flats, the parties have herein agreed that each party takes the three flats under them for the purpose of collecting rent only and pending the determination of the discussion of marriage proceeding initiated by the NC at the High Court.Parties have also agreed that the NC continues to use the back stairs to access her flat while the defendant shall continue to use the front stairs “. M.j k(
In addition, the court which ruled that the relocation of Maryanne from her original residence, was for her protection and not for ownership, however, ordered her to remove her personal and essential effects, restrained the estranged husband from moving close or making negative or abusive remarks about her, but ordered the husband’s lawyer to notify all Marianne’s tenants of the judgement.
Further Protesting the Judgement in a petition to the Chief Judge of the State, through an appeal filed on 28, December,2023, Maryanne protested vehemently that she was not given a Fair hearing
In an earlier summons to defendant, under court form 4, in a case between Samuel Ifeanyichukwu Mgbeahuruba and Maryanne, dated 21, July, 2021, delineated as Suit No ,fal/33bi, Counsel to Maryanne, Barrister Bartholomew Ajagbo Esq, had notified the court of” the harassment, intimidation, Assault and attempted murder of Maryanne, which resulted to bodily injury, which constituted a breach of peace, with the attendant threatening violence and serious threat to Life”.
The lawyer in the summons on notice, asked court to restrain Samuel Ifeanyichukwu Mgbeahuruba, from further molesting, harassment and disturbing Maryanne peace in her house located at 19, Olatunji Idowu Street,Off Ago – Palace Way, Okota, Isolo, Lagos state.
He pleaded with the court to commit Samuel Ifeanyichukwu Mgbeahuruba to prison, if he fails to show cause and why criminal form D 4 , should not be issued against him.
In a 23 paragraphs affidavit supporting her complaint, Maryanne, narrated how 29 years ago, now 31 years, precisely in 1992, when she married Samuel Ifeanyichukwu Mgbeahuruba with intention for a peaceful co-existence but realized how unserious, inconsistent and flirtatious Samuel was, which led to their marital problem and subsequent attempts by Samuel to kill her and her Son.
She complained of teeth bites and battering even when she was 3 months pregnant of their only daughter,by Samuel Ifeanyichukwu Mgbeahuruba,that the problem escalated in 2010, 2012, when Samuel stripped her naked before her staff, which was reported to the Welfare department at Isolo local government Area.
This situation, she said Increased shortly after she completed her building, whereby Samuel denied her, her constitutional immunity as enshrined in the 1999 constitution, due to several attempts to kill her.
Again,that besides pouring hot water on her, which was reported at Ago Palace Police Station, that Samuel,who she said was diabolical, poured her weird,poisonous and dangerous foul smelling substance, which he also spread on her apartment and building that she built with her hard earned money.
“That, Samuel not only wounded her to the point of being taken to Orthopedic hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, but tried to kill her even when she was conferred on wheelchair.
This frequent unlawful acts, she bemoaned, has made it difficult for her to dare come of her room, and that the illegal and unconstitutional but untold mental, physical, emotional and spiritual torture til date, have resulted to serious health challenges of Spinal Chord and waist pain.Moreso,that she is undergoing a second ankle injury surgery, so as to remove plates inserted in her body.
Further,she alleged that Samuel has despite causing her agonies, constant threats and attacks, destroyed her kitchen door.
Appealing,She passionately pleaded with the Court to stop Samuel, so as to save her from untimely death and breach of public peace , “as Samuel Ifeanyichukwu Mgbeahuruba, is a Trafficker who deals on hard drugs, such as Indian hemp, heroine, cocaine and other hard drugs, which she stated has resulted to his deportation from Spain to Nigeria and the imprisonment of two of his boys,namely Charlie Nwagbo and Ambrose Egbosimba, who were in kirikiri prison and completed their jail terms”.
According to the certificate of marriage, their union which started over 31 years ago,started officially on 5, June, 1999, where they were joined together at a Catholic Church at Ijeshatedo part of lagos, after marriage under the Act.
Lamenting over the woes that betide her in the cantankerous relationship, the traumatized Wife, Maryanne,complained how the estranged husband deceived her into marriage at a very tender and inexperienced age, lured her to Lagos from Jos, Plateau state, where she had resided with her late mother and two sisters .
Regrettably, Samuel allegedly deceived her, took her to his friend’s office at Palm groove – Onikpan area, which he had lied was his office as an Importer and Exporter, only for her to discover later, when she was already pregnant with their only son named same name after his father Ifeanyichukwu Mgbeahuruba, that the husband was allegedly into illicit drugs trafficking business.
Obviously embittered, Maryanne narrated the bitter and horrific experiences she was forced to undergo with her first pregnancy, after her husband was caught and imprisoned several times for drug trafficking in Spain and Holland for periods ranging from 4 to 6 years, while she was abandoned to suffer alone in Lagos.
Further recollecting how she started hawking goods on traffic gridlocks, drove trucks, before some good Samaritans introduced and assisted her into beer and soft drinks sales and distribution, from where she raised substantial amount of money to free the husband from prison abroad,pay drug cartels that later held him in Holland and started the two storey building project , later took bank loans to complete in 2015, which she said is the major reason that the husband have been trying to eliminate her ,so as to possess the property.
In tears, Maryanne who said that she sold the mother’s building to Senator Mantu and other property, raised over $70, 000 dollar to free the enstranged husband from Holland drug cartels that held him hostage for drug surety he stood for their drug trafficking colleagues that abandoned his son and flee , allowed our Correspondent access to family documents, courts and various police departments, petitions, crime extracts, charge sheet, case files of domestic violence against her and several attempts by the estranged husband to kill her, her nephew and their only son, whose name,(similar with her husband’s) , which she used when the going was good,in all documentation pertaining to her now Contested building.
She also accused his husband of having children with a woman in the US , whose son is 34 years now. “that’s why he wants to rob my son off his inheritance. This is despite my losing $50,000 dollar in the USA ,where I was trying to give him and my kids God life. The best he offered me after I completed the building was Samuel tagging me a witch , wonton creature from the marine kingdom, who and tied his destiny”.
Maryanne ,also provided her evidence in photograph of alleged husbands infidelity in Holland and in Nigeria,with a ‘Prophetess ‘, (Names withheld),who he allegedly was caught sleeping with on their matrimonial bed, by their only daughter .
In her own words: ” My case with Samuel Ifeanyichukwu Mgbeahuruba is known everywhere: in the police, court, Lagos State Domestic And Sexual Violence Response Team,and in our Umuchu village in Anambra State, where he had traditionally divorced me , sent his official notification letter dated November 4,2023, addressed to Ozara Akukwa , Umuchu General Assembly, Lagos branch, where I was the Chairperson.This is best reward to me,after i removed shame from him by equipping his village home with properties,built fences and other things and freed him from prison and hostage by drug trafficking cartel in Holland”.
“But funny though, he is still living in my house, trying to kill me and possess my house still on bank mortgage. He even rented out one of my flats for N5 million while I was in Canada to relocate my only daughter and son, he wanted to kill.He has not sued me in any court to contest my building, the case I have in court over the building is with the bank that gave me the loan.He had made several futile attempts to sale my building at my back , framed a false case fraud against me and my son at EFCC, reported my son of belonging to a cult group, just to put him away, then kill me and take over the property.It will shock all that EFCC after investigation, did not indict me and my son, they found his allegations frivolous but are yet to prosecute him for false information, after the humiliation, trauma, Public disgrace, torture and unwarranted detention I and my son suffered, just because they were compromised “.
Continued She : ” Regarding this annoying judgement, he was charged to court by the Inspector General of Police on the issues of domestic violence, unfortunately the Magistrate court decided to detour,shared my property to him and delegated an unknown lawyer to notify my tenants.Iam contesting the Judgment, because I was not given fair hearing, I was intimidated in her Chamber, my lawyer, the main Prosecutor was not present and after the so called meeting in her Chamber, my husband and his lawyer engaged her in some pleasantries and prayers.Beside, there is no ongoing High Court dissolution of Marriage case to the best of my knowledge,as referred by the Magistrate in her judgement “.
Appealing for Justice, she said,”I am calling on the Chief Justice of Lagos State Judiciary, to save me and take over the case,reassign the case to an impartial Court”
Speaking in a telephone interview with our Correspondent, Samuel Ifeanyichukwu Mgbeahuruba acknowledged knowing Maryanne as his ex- wife and said thus : “I know her, she is my ex – wife, I have divorced her in traditional way”.
However, when allegations of domestic violence, drug trafficking and alleged attempted murder was asked, he declined comment, according to him because the matter is in court.
He said ,”Thank you very much, I can not pass any comment now, for the fact the matter is at the court, so there is nothing I can say in respect of all these, let the court or the Judiciary Judge.If your office is office of Judgement or litigation outside the police, you invite me and her, so that you hear my own side of the story before concluding after investigation.I can come with my documents”
When he was asked to comment on issues not before the court, he said “she has taken me to Isolo,Okota, Festac, Ikeja,Alagbon, lagos state human right centers”.
According to him, “internationally the video is everywhere in the world.She has been abusing my right on Facebook but that is a story for another day”.
“She has even invited the Sun Newspaper over this matter. I think we are getting to the end of this tunnel, so, keep your facts”.
“Anything that I have to say about this woman should be nationally aired, after the judgement “, he noted.
He said further : “One thing that I have found out is that some women take advantage of maybe Christianity and men to think that they have the right to do whatever they want to do”, he concluded.