Nollywood star Kalu Ikeagwu told an Ikeja High Court that his estranged wife, Ijeoma, allegedly deserted their matrimonial home and prevented him from gaining access to their two children.

Mr Ikeagwu, in the suit marked LD/8939HD/2021, is seeking a dissolution of his six-year-old marriage to Ijeoma, a makeup artist.

The British-Nigerian actor also seeks full custody of his three-year-old son and ten-year-old step-daughter.

The couple, who dated for three months, wedded in 2016 and have two children.

The estranged couple met at a movie location in Port-Harcourt in 2005, where Ijeoma was hired to make up the actors.

Under cross-examination by the respondent’s counsel, Mrs S.I. Amedu, the actor, said his wife packed out of his marital home and informed him via email that she was going to her father’s house in Enugu.

He, however, said, contrary to her claim, that he later saw her at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport with the children after some days.

He said: “I got back home from a trip on Aug. 4, 2021, to find out that my wife had left our marital home with the children to an undisclosed location.

“I tried to contact her when I got to the house and found it empty. I sent her an email on that same day, and she replied that she had gone to her father’s house in Enugu.

“She told me she was at her father’s place in Enugu, and four days later, I saw her at the airport in Lagos, heading to God knows where. In the mail she sent, she said she was in Enugu.”

Mr Ikeagwu also debunked tales that he sent his wife and kids out of the house and failed take care of their upkeep.

“I did not send her out of the house. Someone has to tell me why it takes four days to get to Enugu.

“If you say ‘you are on your way’, it is a continuous sentence. It was a stated fact that she was on her way,” he said.

More allegations

The actor further told the court that his wife denied him sex and poured water on him while he was asleep.

The petitioner also said he was not aware that his wife lost a pregnancy due to a Sexually Transmitted Infection while they were together.

“After the birth of our son, she has refused to have sex with me. I was not aware she lost the pregnancy due to an infection as I did not give her any disease.

“To date, I have not seen any report attached to a document that she lost a baby through STD. Though I did not ask her why she lost the baby,” he said.

Mr Ikeagwu said he stopped sending money to the children for upkeep and maintenance because his wife denied him being the father to his stepdaughter.

He added that this was after she accused him of attempting to sleep with the child and failed to acknowledge the money he sent to her.

“The last time I sent money to them was in November 2021. I stopped sending money because my wife denied me being a father to my step-daughter, and she also accused me of wanting to sleep with her,” the actor said.

On why he was seeking custody of his stepdaughter, whom he had earlier sought for revocation of guardianship, the actor said he had information that his wife wanted to relocate the children.

“I want custody of the two children. The reason I sought revocation was that my wife had turned my stepdaughter against me, and at that point, I got a hint that she wanted to fly the children abroad.

“I have never been married to any woman before I married my wife. I married her after she had her daughter.

“I earlier said the issue of revocation was because I felt she wanted to use me. My Lord, look at the precedence of how I have treated the girl from the very beginning.

“I am an actor by profession, and I travel to locations within and outside Nigeria in which I can spend five days to one month.

“At the moment, it may be difficult, but I am thinking about the future when I remarry and get a stable wife,” Mr Ikeagwu said.

Judge’s instruction

Earlier, Justice Christopher Balogun asked the children to play with their father in court and asked the respondent to present the receipts of his children’s tuition fees in court.

Justice Balogun said: “According to the Child’s Right Act, you can not deny the children the best education even if you’re quarrelling with your wife.

“If I should, as a judgment, grant you a divorce, and if your wife is in Enugu and you stay in Lagos, why should I give the custody of a 10-year-old girl to you while her mother is alive?

“The Supreme Court ruled that it is not the wealth of a father that the children of that age need; they need the care and attention of their biological mother.

“The only reason the girl child should not be in the mother’s custody is if the mother is mentally derailed or the issue of infidelity is involved.

“Assuming the girl starts her monthly period, you as a father do not know what to do. You will be scared of the blood. A female girl is delicate. Your case is worse because an accusation has been levelled against you,” he said.

The judge adjourned the case until June 23 to continue the hearing.