Culled from Vanguard:
When 30-year-old Chinenyere Ogokie met her husband in 2007, never in her wildest imagination did she imagine that a day would come when she would discover that he is a fraudster and wife-beater.
According to the trader who sells cosmetics at Idumota Market, Lagos, “I met my husband, Smart Orire, in 2007 and we got married in 2011. At that time, he was a teacher at Penney Secondary School located at Coker, Lagos.
“Later, he stopped teaching and started working at the Nigerian Breweries (NB). Our relationship was good and rosy until I discovered that I had married a wolf in sheep clothing, when his real attitude began to manifest. This was when he began to engage himself in some fraudulent activities that led to his sack. He collected contributions from a thrift co-operative and then refused to pay back to his co-workers. His colleagues reported him to the management and he was sacked after the matter was investigated.
“Immediately after his sack, Smart went into sales of home appliances. It was at this point I began to notice changes in his attitude and people started coming to my house claiming to have been duped by him.
“I kept warning him about his fraudulent activities, but he wouldn’t listen, saying that it was the ranting of a woman. Later, I discovered that he was defrauding people because he wanted to travel outside the country. When I confronted him, he denied, claiming that he had no such plans.
“When the heat became too much after his victims started trailing him, he fled. Some of the people he defrauded came with soldiers to my house and parked my property. One of them took my generator and invited the police to arrest me. I was constantly harassed by people he defrauded all because I am his wife, even though I didn’t know when they had their transactions.”
“Recently, one of them invited police officers from Amukoko who arrested me and later, they were able to arrest my husband. I was granted bail after the police investigations revealed that I was not part of the fraud.
“Because it was a bailable offence, he was later granted bail. After he was released, he came back and gave me the beating of my life for not supporting him at the station. He accused me of informing the police where he had fled to, that made them arrest him. He threatened to harm me any time he saw me. After beating me that night, he fled again. Since then, I have not seen him. The worst part of it is that every day, new victims of his nefarious activities keep coming to harass me and threaten my little son.”
The mother of one lamented further: “I disobeyed my father, who was against my union with Smart. I thought I was following my heart when I went ahead and married him. Look at what false love has brought me into. I never knew that he was using me as the fool. I never knew that I married a ‘419ner’. Our marriage produced our son whose name is Emmanuel Orire. I never knew that the father of my son is a ‘419ner’. God knows that I am innocent. I am pleading with the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, and Human right activists to come to my rescue.”
All efforts made to reach the victim’s husband, Smart Orire, who has since absconded were futile as his phone lines have been switched off.