By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
Abuja, a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Supreme Court in Apo, has suspended serving court documents to a former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, in connection with a custody suit filed by his estranged wife, Precious Chikwendu.
Judge Sylvanus Oriji ruled Friday that while the ex-minister was aware of the lawsuit and saw the court documents, there was no evidence that he was served in person, as required by law.
Judge Oriji agreed with Fani-Kayode’s attorney, Adeola Adedipe, that the evidence in the court did not indicate that Fani-Kayode was personally served with the original proceedings in the case.
However, the judge declined Fani-Kayode’s prayer that the court would decline jurisdiction to hear the wrongful service lawsuit.
He took the view that improper service could not render a lawsuit incompetent and deny the court jurisdiction to hear it, but that the plaintiff was only obliged to serve again.
At the request of the plaintiff’s attorney, Ms. ED Moi-Wuyep, Judge Orij withdrew the plaintiff’s motion for an injunction and adjourned it until April 21 of this year to hear the substantive lawsuit.
He ordered the delivery of the hearing notice and the respondent’s original processes.
The estranged wife of Fani-Kayode is characterized by the lawsuit: CV / 372/2021 seeks, among other things, custody of the four children caused by marriage, “but with an appropriate right of access granted to the respondent (Fani-Kayode). ”
The woman, who wants Fani-Kayode and his agents not to forcibly abduct the children from their custody, asked the court to order the ex-minister to give her N3.438 million a month to support the children and additional amounts for their children pay education and other ancillary costs.
She stated that the children, who are all six years old, have been emotionally traumatized since they were separated from her since August 2, 2020. She added that she had not seen any in over seven months.
In an affidavit in support of the suit, Precious said she sometimes met Fani-Kayode in 2014 when she was 24 years old. She then moved to his home at No. 5, Zuma Close, near Udi Hills Street, Aso Drive, Abuja.
She shared details of how Fani-Kayode allegedly subjected her to both verbal and physical abuse during their six-year relationship.
“My relationship with the interviewee was turbulent and unhappy. The interviewee had a habit of beating me up every time I quarreled.
“My relationship with the respondent has witnessed fear, harassment and a range of assaults both by the respondent himself and by the use of the Nigerian police, his security data and / or his personal bodyguards.
“Since the beginning of our relationship, the respondent has always maintained a lifestyle that totally disregards my feelings,” she said.