A retiree, Kolawole Olaniran, has accused his wife, Iyabode, of taking away his three children without his consent, adding that efforts to reunite with them have been abortive.
The retiree of a textile company claimed that Iyabode packed out of his house in the Agbado area of Ogun State without any notice, saying efforts he made towards reconciling with his estranged wife did not yield any result.
He added that since she left in 2017, he had been denied access to the children.
Kolawola, who presently rides a commmercial motorcycle, told Punch Metro that one of his children, Bose, fell ill and requested to see him, alleging that Bose was discouraged from seeing him.
He said Iyabode allegedly claimed that a divine message she got from her church forbade their daughter from travelling.
Kolawole said, “I was in Lagos when I received a call that my wife had left home. She left with my children and when we spoke, she said I should not look for her. But the surprising thing is that she also refused to allow me to see my children.
“Bose, my first child who is married, is currently sick. Bose told her mother-in-law that she wanted to see me, but my wife claimed that she received a divine message that Bose should not travel. But when Bose’s sickness became worse, Iyabode allowed Bose to travel from Ijebu Ife to Abule Oko in Ota, Ogun State, for spiritual healing.”
The Ekiti State indigene said he had not seen his first daughter since she was taken to her mother’s home town.
The 63-year-old also said he heard from a family friend that Iyabode and a pastor in her church were becoming “too close.”
“But that is not my problem; I want my children. I want to see Bose. Now, I learnt that my wife had taken her from Ogun State to Osogbo, Osun State, for spiritual help. I am still alive; how will she be doing all that and I won’t be involved? Bose’s mother-in-law told me that Iyabode asked her not to tell me about their whereabouts. I want the government to please come to my aid,” he added.
Kolawole said he had reported his wife to the police in Lagos so that she would produce his children.
The landlord of Iyabode’s rented shop, Segun Ajagun, said he noticed that the pastor was a frequent visitor, adding that he challenged her on her relationship with the pastor.
He said, “When I observed that the pastor usually visited Iyabode at the shop, I asked who he was and she told me that they were relatives. Later, I heard that she had parked out of her husband’s house.”
Bose’s mother-in-law, Mrs Adeola Lawal, told Punch Metro that Iyabode had told her not to inform Kolawole about Bose’s location.
Lawal said, “Bose and her husband had wanted to visit Kolawole and they had even bought gifts for him, but she suddenly fell ill. When her case worsened, we were advised to take her to a psychiatric hospital.
“During this period, we told her parents about her condition. Iyabode spent three days with her and left. Bose, however, insisted that she wanted to see her father. We had already concluded plans to take her to her father when Iyabode called that they told her at her church that Bose should not travel.
“When the case was getting out of control, I reported at a police post at Ijebu Ife. I also told Iyabode that her daughter was seriously ill. Later, she got back to me that we should take her to a church. On June 30, 2018, we took Bose to her mother, who took us to a white garment church where we deposited N20,000 out of the N60,000 they requested.”
Iyabode, who confirmed that she took her daughter for spiritual healing in Osogbo said she was not in any relationship with the pastor seen with her in the shop.
She added that she packed out of her husband’s house because he did not provide for the family.
She said, “There were times he did not come home for two months; he hardly provided for his family. I had to leave because I had suffered enough. He is a motorcycle rider. I once complained to the chairman of his union, but nothing was done.
“I am not having an affair with anybody; he should leave me alone so that I can live my life. If it is his children he wants, I will release them to him and after that, he should leave me alone. I thank God that the church I took my daughter to in Osogbo has changed her life; Bose’s health has improved.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, said the matter was reported at the Iponri Police Division, adding that investigation was ongoing.
“The matter has been taken to the Iponri Police Station for further investigation.”