Bessem Okafor, the estranged wife of the pastor of Mountain of Liberation Miracles Ministires, Dr. Chris Okafor, has accused her husband of beating her up at their home in Magodo, Lagos.
Bessem who left her home in 2012, said she had, a few weeks ago, gone to visit her four children who were in the custody of their father.
The visit was said to have been arranged by a lawyer from the Office of the Public Defender, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, and her husband’s lawyer, Mr. Onyechukwu Ubani.
She said, “I have not seen my children for nine months and our lawyers agreed that I could come see them at home after school hours by 5pm. I went to the house at the appointed time, but my children were not there.
“I had to wait outside in the compound until 10pm before my husband arrived; the children were not with him. They were later brought home by the driver about 12am. By then it was clear I couldn’t leave again, I had to spend the night.
“The following morning, I bathed and dressed them for school. They pleaded with me to stay back until they returned and since I hardly spent time with them the day before, I agreed.”
A few hours after her children had left for school, Bessem received a phone call from Chris who had also left the house. He allegedly questioned her presence in the house and ordered her to leave.
When Bessem insisted on staying till her children returned from school, Chris allegedly sent a policeman who was part of his entourage to the house.
She said, “The policeman told me to leave the house. At that time, I was wearing only my dress. I had washed my undies and spread them to dry since I didn’t come with extra.
“I told the policeman that I would leave after my children returned from school. Later, Chris came in and on seeing me, he started beating me and dragged me out of the house.”
She said some policemen came to arrest her, but could not go with them because her clothes were torn.
The following day after making a complaint of assault at the Isheri Police Division, she was hospitalised at the Solid Rock Hospital, in the Ojodu/Berger area.
A copy of her medical report made available to PUNCH Metro said Bessem was brought in for treatment after a brawl with her spouse.
It reads in part, “Examination revealed a middle aged woman in distress with multiple bruises, BP 140/80mmhg and pulse rate 104bpm. There was inflammation around the left knee and tenderness along the spine. She was subsequently admitted, placed on intravenous fluids and managed as case of multiple trauma secondary to domestic violence.”
The report was signed by one Dr. Ametepee T. M.
Chris, when contacted, did not respond to calls and a text message to his phone. Our correspondent visited his church at Ojodu on two occasions, but his aides said he was not available for comment.
When PUNCH Metro contacted the Lagos Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ngozi Braide, she did not respond to calls and text messages to her phone.
However, Chris lawyer, Ubani, said, “Bessem has made all sorts of allegations against her husband, but what she has failed to tell you is that she left her marriage of her own volition. She ended her marriage with her infidelity. She would leave her house, come back at late hours and would not tell her husband where she has been.
“The couple are already in court for divorce. This particular incident you are asking about, it was Bessem who tore her own clothes. Chris never laid a hand on her. Why did she not get a medical report from a government hospital?
“If she was truly assaulted she would have gone to the station to make a report. Then they would give her a paper to take to a public hospital. That of the private hospital is not admissible in court. Chris never refused her access to her children; they were simply brought to the church because his mother and cousin were not at home. After bringing some policemen from Isheri to arrest Chris while he was at the pulpit, she still went ahead to Zone 2 to make another report.”
The PPRO Zone 2, SP Lewi Suleimann, when contacted said, “We are still waiting to get the file transferred from the Isheri Police Station. I would not like to comment much before we get the file.”