The lead pastor of the Dunamis International Gospel Centre Worldwide, Abuja, Pastor Paul Enenche, has said he had no idea that the late popular gospel artiste, Osinachi Nwachukwu, was being abused by her husband, Peter Nwachukwu.
Until her death last Friday, the 42-year-old artiste who died after spending days at an undisclosed hospital in Abuja, a lead singer in Enenche’s church.
Her colleagues accused her husband of beating her.
In a recorded video broadcast posted across all his social media handles and on the church’s Facebook Page, Dunamis TV on Wednesday, Enenche said all he knew was that the late Osinachi and her husband, Peter, came to him for prayers when the former complained of chest pain over two months ago.
He said, “Over two-and-a-half months to three months ago, she came to see me with her husband with complaints of chest pain and respiratory distress. I prayed for her and prayed again.
“When the symptoms did not abate, I counselled that they went to the hospital to help us know exactly what we were dealing with and they asked if I could help them facilitate that process. I called our head of medical team, Dr Osang, who is a consultant paediatrician with the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi (Nasarawa State) to assist to handle their situation.
“He called the FMC, Jabi (Abuja), where they attended to her. On seeing her, they ordered some examinations and investigations and that including CT scan. That was done, and from what the doctors saw, they felt there was the need for further investigation either at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital or the National Hospital, Abuja. I called the doctor at the UATH, Dr Akoh Alexander, and told him the situation.
The pastor said the late artiste was later admitted and was responding to treatment before he heard about her death.
The pastor added, “Now if there was domestic violence that led to or coincided with those symptoms she came with two-and-a-half to three months ago, there is no way I would know. If there had been perennial domestic violence, there is no way I would have known.
“The things we are hearing after her passing were very strange to my hearing. Then, I began to ask questions. Then, I asked the twin sister, ‘Were you aware that your sister passed through all these things?’ She said yes, that she knew some of them, but that the majority of them she heard only from those she (Osinachi) confided in.
“I asked her, ‘If you knew, why didn’t you let us know?’ and she said, she (Osinachi) always begged her not to tell the pastor or the church that the man would change and asked for prayers. That continued to happen.”
Enenche further said he asked Osinachi’s first son of what transpired between his mom and dad and he confirmed the stories.
He quoted the son as saying that he refused to speak up in order not to attract his father’s anger.
“The last one that touched me so much was the music producer who came to see me in the office two days ago to tell me his own experience and how he witnessed that the man slapped the wife in his studio,” he added.
Enenche insisted that all he knew about the deceased’s plight in the hands of her husband were brought to his knowledge after her death.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, said she almost cried when Osinachi’s children narrated their late mother’s ordeal in the hands of their father to her.
The minister spoke on NTA’s Good Morning Nigeria’s breakfast show monitored by The PUNCH.
She said her encounter with the deceased’s children revealed that her husband is married to another woman.
She said the children told her that their late mother had no bank account of her own as all her proceeds were usurped by their father.
The minister said, “Honourable member, the deputy chief whip, happens to come from the late Osinachi’s village and she was out of town (and when she came back), she was in my office to thank me for the visit and she demanded that I should ask one of my aides to take her.
“I asked my CSO (chief security officer) to take her and when they got to the house, with the encouragement I gave the children, they are encouraged to speak out.
“So, more revelations are coming out and (one of) the sons went in and brought out an album; he (Peter) has been married to another woman. You can imagine collecting money from her (Osinachi) and treating this woman as a beast of burden.”
She added, “It is so traumatising, so heartbreaking, the death of Osinachi.
“When I came into the compound, I saw four beautiful children; three boys, one girl. He (Peter) had told the children that they should not speak about the things happening in the house.”
“I came in with all the directors in the ministry. When I asked questions, I saw that the children were not forthcoming. I excused everyone and said I wanted to have a one-on-one with the children.
“I first spoke with Osinachi’s first son. I asked him, ‘Do you love your mother?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ ‘Has your mummy taught you to tell lies?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I asked him if she was still alive, and he said she was dead. ‘Do you know that she is now your angel, and she is now watching you?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ ‘So, it will be very sad if you tell lies’.
“I introduced myself, and I told him the President is concerned, every Nigerian is concerned, we all join them to mourn Osinachi’s death, but what we want from him is the truth.
“Then he opened up… And said that their dad used to beat their mom and their mom was always sad. He would beat her and flog her. He said their father would gather them in the room and beat them, and if the mom came into the room to stop him, he would turn back on her and beat her up. And that has always been the issue.
“They said it was their mom that runs around on her gospel music, comes back with her money. If the money is paid through (a) bank account, it was paid into his account. She has no account of her own, any money she has, he collects and gives her peanut for feeding, and when she cooks, he starts shouting and beating her. And their mom was living in fear and was always sad.
“It was such a horrible story from a young boy who is just 12. I asked him what class he is and he said Class Five. At the age of 12? I said, ‘Why?’ He said he couldn’t even read. So, mentally, this child is already destroyed.”
Tallen added that “the second son repeated the same horrible situation” and the third son too.