I earlier wrote on Hadiza's current issues with her husband and how she is fighting for the custody of her kids. She recently granted Vangaurd an exclusive interview with a lot of details.
Is it true you have packed out of your matrimonial
home? Yes. It is very true. I left home on the 17th of April because of the
beatings I constantly received from my husband. That was the eight time so
You left home or
he kicked you out? Yes. I left on my own accord, he never sent me packing.
The very day he beat me up, I was asleep in my Children’s room (because two
months back, we’d stopped sleeping together). I felt safer there because he
seldom touches me when the children are around
At about 1:30 am on the fateful day, he came back home and called the land line
for some one to come open the gate for him. The second time the phone rang, I
picked up. When I answered, he shouted that I should wake the children up to
come open the gate for him. I woke the second born, Kuma to open the gate. When
he came in, I was asleep on a mattress on the floor of the room and he started
kicking me and shouting that I should have been the one to come and open the
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Meanwhile, I’d switched off my phone because anytime he
comes back and finds new pictures or numbers on my phone, he’d either delete all
of them or smash it and get me a new one. After kicking me to his satisfaction,
he went to his room. Usually when he beats me up this way, I would run away. I
ran away twice last year to my fathers house with my children but he came with
his uncle’s to beg. Sometime ago when I got pregnant, he asked me to abort the
baby because he was not ready for more children.
How many children do you have? Three and they are 7,
6 and 4 years old respectively. When we woke up in the morning, he gave the maid
money to cook for the family because that was his normal routine. The gas
finished while they were still cooking, so the girl came to me and I referred
her back to Zaaki.
I was dressing up my children that morning, when he
sent my son to come call me. My son’s exact words were ‘’Mummy, daddy is calling
you but don’t go’’. I knew deep down that he was saying the truth because if
Zaaki should lock me up in his room, I’m as good as dead. He would beat me non
stop and sometimes raise the volume of the TV or start the generator to douse
my cry for help.
When I didn’t go, he came to the room and asked me why
I did not harken to his call. I did not respond. He saw me dressing up the
children and thought I would take them away to my father’s place the same way I
did last year. He took the children away that morning and I quickly reasoned
that his next step would be to come back and beat me. So I took a few clothes
and ran away.
Someone introduced me to ‘’Project Alert’’ and I went to
the shelter. On the 4th of June, My father told me Zaaki informed him that he is
bringing back my luggages. I decided to hire a taxi to go pick my things myself.
Before then, close neighbours had called regularly to say they see my children
trekking to and from school because Zaaki does not take them in his
On my way to the house on that very day, I saw them
trekking home with the maid. When I stopped they happily jumped into the car.
The maid who was with them started shouting and calling me ‘’Thief’’ alerting
passers by. She tore the dress I wore. I manged to escape with two of the kids
leaving my daughter behind. Zaaki went to threaten the proprietress of the
school saying we connived to kidnap his children.
He aslo went to our family doctor to try get a report
that his maid suffered injuries in hand but the doctor refused saying he is a
Christian and would not be a party to a break up a marriage. Later, he gave me a
particular medical report because he was convinced Zaaki would go the extreme
one day. Even the hospital where I gave birth to my last born, Zaaki has refused
to pay them.
What was his excuse? His excuse was that while other
women were giving birth to boys, I was giving birth to women. He always says
people tell him my children look like my siblings and that he would not be
shocked to find out that it was my brother that impregnated me. Whenever he
starts beating me, it seems as if there is a spirit inside him.
Do you love Him? If I didn’t love Zaaki, I wouldn’t
have married him. We met when I was in school and worked part time as secretary
in my father firm when I’m on holidays. My dad was an active journalist before
he went into politics. Zaaki used to patronize him and with time, we started
talking on the phone. One day he told me he loved and wanted me as his wife.
Zaaki’s father gave my father his first employment. So it was like my father
was returning a favour by giving me out in marriage to Zaaki.
What happened to the children on that fateful
day? Two them had entered the vehicle before the lady started shouting and
calling me a thief. But the child, my daughter was still standing outside. I
left with the two that were already in the car.
How did the school authorities get to hear about it,
did it happen in the school premises? No. It didn’t happen inside the school
but we were not very far from the school premises. Some of the teachers came out
and identified me as the kids mother but she still kept on calling me a
Have you reported this matter to his family? He is
not in good terms with his mother, elder sister and almost all members of his
family except one of his brothers who he sees once in a blue moon.
Did you try to locate his mother about this issue? I
have no idea where to look for her because she was in Makurdi then relocated to
Abuja. She used to call and ask after everybody’s well being but anytime Zaaki
goes through my phone and see her number, he would delete it
But you sometimes went out together… Yes we did. But
I stopped going out with him because anytime we go out and any man approaches me
or even says hi, we would leave the place in a hurry or he would start asking
me questions about the man. He feels so insecure. The main reason why I am
addressing this issue through the press is because I am scared for my life and
the life of people helping me.
He went to make false allegations against me to the
police. I want the Inspector General to look into this matter squarely. When I
went to see the police, the police officer in charge of the case threatened to
detain me if I failed to produce the children. My lawyer had to sign an
undertaken that we’d bring the children the next day.
When Zaaki reported me to his uncle, he lied that he
bought me a jeep. People who know me are aware that I trek to school most of
the time. Zaaki would sometimes disguise to come and spy on me in school or send
some of his boys. He has threatened to deal with me on several
What are you studying in school? I’m a student of
history and international relations. I’m in my final year. Right now, he has
seized all my school documents. I really don’t know what Zaaki wants from me,
I’m sure members of my family have not offended him in any way. If anything
should happen to me in the nearest future, I have said Zaki should be held
What if Zaaki comes back to apologize? He has begged
on several occasions in the past but this time I would never go back to go back
to him. Right now, I am fighting for my right and that of my children. I’m
learned and I am aware of other relating issues.
You said he asked you to abort on several
occasions. Yes he did. You can confirmed from a doctor friend of his, Dr
Albert. I cannot remember the name of the hospital but I have the doctor’s phone
number. The doctor insisted that he does not do abortions and instead gave me
ante-natal drugs saying ‘pregnancy is a thing of joy’.
Zaaki came home that night while I was asleep and
started kicking me insisting that I abort the baby. He almost forced folic acid
down my throat and was hitting my stomach in the process. So I begged and asked
him to give me the drugs to swallow myself then ran out of the house in just a
boxer and T-shirt.
He pursued and forced me into his car saying he would
take me back to my fathers house. Instead he dropped me off at a lonely spot. I
know no one in Lagos because Zaaki brought me here after we met in school. But
at about 1 am, he retuned to pick me up from the spot he dropped me. If you want
to confirm these things , go to Gbagada and ask. Often he has beaten me several
times on the streets.
Did you ever report this matter to anybody? Yes. I
reported him to my Pastor, Taiwo Odukoya and whenever we go to see him, Zaaki
would say I follow men up and down. I am fighting for my life and that of my
daughter that is still with him.
Have you tried to talk one on one with him? Yes. But
every time we try, he says bad people are advising me. Whenever I gave birth, he
stopped people from visiting me. He never organised naming or birthday
ceremonies for my children. When I left last year in April, on my sons birthday
which is May 17, he gathered a few people in the name of a celebration just to
fulfill all righteousness. Zaaki has no house of his own.
All we’ve been doing is move from one rented apartment
to the other. He would lie to the media that we travelled to the United States
of America. I have only been to Cotonou in my entire life. Zaaki has only been
to South Africa and that was courtesy GLO with ‘’Lagbaja’’ and ‘’Daddy
Showkey’’. He’s always been denied visa to America yet would lie to the media
about a non existing American trip.
Did you say he was once married? Yes he was married
but I would rather not mention the lady’s name for security reasons. He married
her in Lagos at the Ikoyi marriage registry. And married me at Ado-Odo
registry in Ogun State. I came from a Muslim home but got converted to
Christianity because of Zaaki.
Right now, I’m the only Christian in my family. I went
boldly to my parents and made it clear that I don’t want my children to be
divided between two religions. My father accepted it as long as I was not pagan
and advised me to face the religion squarely.
She abducted my kids and abandoned her matrimonial
home - Zaaki
“For now I do not want to run fowl of whatever the
court ethics are. From my understanding of issues, once a matter is in court
every party strives as much as possible to refrain from making comments on such
matters or anything relating to it.
“I’m surprised that Project Alert or whatever they call
themselves and the person who ran away from her matrimonial home months back and
who came back with hefty looking thugs in a black unregistered car: beat up and
injured my cousin on her way back from picking the kids from school and
forcefully adopted my children; then went to court after doing that and now run
to the press and post so many statements to tarnish my image on the
“I’m not ready to give them the opportunity for cheap
publicity which is exactly what they are looking for. A good lawyer should fight
his case in court and not on the pages of newspapers. I am happy with some of
the responses they are getting on the internet.”