Atiku’s wife confirms divorce rumours, clarifies row over assets

Jennifer, one of the wives of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has confirmed her divorce to the former presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In a statement obtained on Tuesday, the ex-VP’s wife explained that she didn’t request divorce because Atiku married a new wife.

“That His Excellency married a new wife was never the cause of our problem as many have said. His Excellency is a Muslim and I have never questioned him or intended to ask him about his wives,” she said.

According to her, some of Atiku’s friends tried to mediate and stop the divorce but their efforts failed.

Jennifer explained that “the core reason for the divorce was disagreement over my continued stay in the United Kingdom” among other “long-standing issues”.

She also claimed that Atiku had requested to collect an asset previously given to her, adding that the property in Dubai is a subject of litigation.

She said Atiku had promised to give her the equivalent in value of the Dubai property, but reneged.

She also alleged that aides to the presidential candidate of the PDP are threatening her.

She said: “For some time now, especially in the last few weeks, there has been a whole lot of rumours in circulation about the state of my marriage to his Excellency Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Waziri Adamawa, GCON. The stories got more vicious as they continued to circulate. I deem it necessary to defend myself against the calculated propaganda to malign my character and position me in a bad light and damage my name. Without resorting to nonsensical talk, I would address the two key issues at hand:
(1) That I asked for a divorce because His Excellency got married again.
(2) That I sold his Excellency’s house in Dubai.
“On June 26, 2021, I asked His Excellency to grant me a divorce in light of the breakdown of our marriage. And, during that period, I told him that I remain at his s service to continue to assist him in his activities even If I am no longer married to him. Suffice it to say that several friends of his Excellency tried to mediate in this matter. I thank them most graciously and remain grateful for the efforts of people like Peter Okocha, Senator Ben Obi, Tunde Ayeni, Captain Yahaya and Senator Ben Bruce.

The core reason for the divorce was disagreement over my continued stay in the United Kingdom, to look after my children and several other long-standing issues. I needed to play the role of a mother at this time to the children who have gone through the absence of both father and mother growing up; especially, with the passage of my elder sister who used to look after them. Furthermore, in light of COVID-19 times, choosing to stay with the children was nonnegotiable. And, in line with Northern culture, the new wife takes up the baton so I can also focus on giving the kids more care.”

She explained that not informing her officially according to northern/Islamic culture, she I knew about his new wife from the time he was dating her and when he eventually married her.” I have graciously invited our new wife to my son’s wedding in Dubai in 2018 without any ill feelings and congratulated his Excellency when our new wife put to bed.

“I was already aware that His Excellency had gotten married to our new wife but that did not deter me from supporting him and indeed, we went through a most rigorous electioneering campaign and garnered massive support for his election in 2019.

“I hope this brings this issue to rest as I did not leave the house because of his new marriage.

Jennifer further explained that the matrimonial home in Asokoro, which they resided was gifted to her by him even before we moved into that home from a previous residence.

Her words: “Indeed, His Excellency caused his Private Secretary to process the DEED of assignment documents for the house, which he did and handed to me. I then commenced processing the title to the property.

“During the initial mediation discussion, Excellency denied that he gifted the house even after I showed him the document with the signatures of his aide, his Excellency asked me to give him the deed.

When I asked him, where will I and the kids stay when we come to Nigeria?, he told me that since I am the one that asked for a divorce, I should find a place to stay and subsequently, I moved out.

“His Excellency further gave orders to have my nephews living with me in the house ejected within an hour and gave orders that I and my family members are not allowed to enter the house. Hence, during my last visit to Nigeria in December, 2021, I stayed at a hotel. I have long released these assets to him and hereby reiterate that the titles are at his disposal to pick up whenever he deems fit.

“There has been a lot of speculation on the Dubai home. For a while now, I had purposely stayed away from Dubai until I took custody of that property in September 2021 after his Excellency reneged on his word to give the current value of the said property in exchange. When I came to Nigeria, in early September 2021. I asked to have a private conversation with His Excellency. During that conversation, I informed his Excellency that once I get back to the United Kingdom, I will go to Dubai and take over the house. He subsequently departed for his medical trip to Germany refusing to address any of the issues I privately wanted to conclude with him outside of third parties.

•I subsequently travelled to Dubai, and took custody of the said property. Once I did that, on 18 September 2021, His Excellency sent me a text and I quote: “I hear you have moved to Dubai to takeover the house. I am still in Germany for my medicals. Make sure all my properties including (redacted) are intact so I can collect all my properties. I wish you well’.

•I responded to him: “ Excellency, I am left with no other option as we need to get on with our lives amicably. I hope your medicals are coming up good. I wish you well too’.

•On 19th September, 2021 in response to his text that I am not being amicable and I quote ”Good morning, with due respect, Excellency, I told you on Saturday before you left for Germany, that I was going back to UK, take [our son] back for his test, then come to Dubai. I reiterated that day the need for an amicable resolution.

I maintain that stance and remain at your service Your Excellency’.

• Further on Tuesday, September, 21 2021, I asked His Excellency in another text whether he wanted me to pack up his clothes and give to Rahim (his driver) since the driver on his instructions was moving his cars. I also asked Excellency in that text whether he wanted me to have Rahim pack up his office. Then his Excellency sent me a text back and asked:
‘So its true you have sold the villa?’
Subsequently, His Excellency sent the driver to take possession of all the cars.

The truth subsists with regard to the Dubai house. I will make no further comments on it because it is the subject of litigation filed by his Excellency against me.

I need to also put on record that if I wanted to take His Excellency assets, I would not have returned to him his property documents in Abuja and Jos and document, allowed the driver to collect his cars, gave up the house in Asokoro and Yola.

The last time I was in Nigeria I called to have the Asokoro and Yola documents delivered to him. It was never picked up and I still state that Excellency is free to send someone to have the documents picked up anytime he deems fit.

• Since this incident, I fear for my safety and that of my kids. His Excellency’s security operatives especially Ibro and others have making threats and calling my relatives, friends and staff and searching for my assets to seize and monitoring my phone calls and those of friends and relatiives. For that reason, I have exited my law firm and sold all my assets and moved abroad until peace reigns.

• I have done nothing wrong except to ask for a divorce and it pains me that I have to use this medium to address thorny issues but fear that at this point, I would have to put my side of the story on record. It is obvious that a campaign of calumny to total discredit and put me in bad light has begun.

Despite all that has happened, I reiterate that I asked for a quiet divorce, which had if it had been granted, we would not be where we are today. Divorce is never an easy process for both parties. I reiterate that I hope we can settle our issues privately and I would remain at His Excellency’s service should he need my help, anytime.”

Original story on Guardian

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