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SPECIAL REPORT: Missing Charity Aiyedogbon: One Year After

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It is exactly one year that an Abuja-based business woman, Charity Aiyedogbon was declared missing by her Facebook friends. 

Charity, popularly known as ‘Chacha’, is said to have gone missing since the 9th of May, 2016 and family, friends and Security Agencies said to be working to unravel the mystery behind her sudden disappearance.

Speculations on the possible whereabouts of the 44-year-old mother of four, also known as Deepdeal Chacha Dehammer were rife.

First, a Lagos-based lawyer, Emeka Ugwuonye said he had overwhelming evidence that the missing Charity was dead, accusing her erstwhile husband, David Aiyedogbon of having a hand in her disappearance; an allegation he posted on his Facebook group, The Due Process Advocates.

Reacting to Ugwuonye’s allegation, former husband of the missing woman, Mr. David Aiyedogbon washed his hands over the disappearance of the lady and wrote his accuser, through his lawyers, demanding an apology, failure which he would seek legal redress.

The letter titled: “Defamation of the character of David Aiyedogbon; demand for apology,” signed by his lawyer, Obiora Illo esq (Ogbulafor Chambers) and made available to newsmen, expressly states: 

“It is our instruction to demand an unqualified apology from you to our client through our chambers for the defamatory publications you have made of and concerning our client.”

Also, addressing newsmen in Abuja, Mr. Aiyedogbon urged the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to investigate the allegation against him, describing it as “cruel, criminal and untrue”.

He stressed that his estranged wife Charity left their matrimonial home on the 28th of May, 2014, noting that since then, he had neither heard from her, nor had any dealings with her.

While the controversy lasted, a Civil Society Organisation, Coalition against Crime (CAC) called on Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to arrest Lagos-based lawyer, Ugwuonye to explain his role in the disappearance of Charity Aiyedogbon.

National Coordinator of the group, Harrison Pepple, made the call while addressing newsmen in Abuja, arguing that Mr. Ugwuonye had some questions to answer.

In a Petition to the Inspector General of Police, the group quoted Mr. Ugwuonye as saying: 

“…Charity Aiyedogbon is said to have been missing since the 11th of May, 2016 and one Emeka Ugwuonye claims he has evidence that the woman is dead and was murdered. 

“He also posted a photograph of a dead person, part of whose body was dismembered. 

“How can Police be looking for a missing person and someone says he has a clue and he has not been invited or arrested.”?

Following the intervention by the Civil Society Organisation, the Police eventually arrested Mr. Ugwuonye and later released him on bail, after questioning, while investigations continued.

Several developments aided Police investigations. 

First, those believed to be close to Chacha are quoted as saying that she went missing on the 9th of May, 2016, but her lawyer, Barrister Nsikak Udoh, handling a suit filed at the Federal High Court, Lokoja on 29th April, 2016 against 29 respondents, including her biological children and former husband, claimed she (Chacha) came to his house on the 18th of May, 2016 (eight days after her purported disappearance) and one of his staff accompanied her to Federal High Court, to sign and depose to an affidavit in support of the ex-parte motion filed along with the case. 

How could someone who was declared missing on the 9th of May reappear on the 18th and then disappear again?  

Today, it has been established that Chacha’s signature was forged; as the lawyer, Barrister Nsikak Udo has recanted. He says he did not see Chacha, as earlier claimed. 

He confessed to the Police that he forged Charity’s signature in an affidavit he filed in court. Apparently, Charity was not behind the filing of the suit, but her lawyer, Barrister Nsikak Udoh. 

He therefore lied on oath. Both himself and the Commissioner for oaths in the Federal High Court Abuja jurisdiction risk being prosecuted by the Police for forgery and perjury.

Another puzzle is that a corpse, said to have been dismembered beyond identification was allegedly seen in Abuja on the 12th of May and Mr. Ugwuonye claimed it was Chacha’s body. 

Till date, who has identified the corpse as that of Chacha? Impeccable sources say a DNA test conducted on the body revealed otherwise. 

Children of the missing woman have also chorused on several platforms that their mother was NOT dead. They have also stated that the displayed corpse is not that of their mother. 

The missing woman also has siblings and parents who have been going about their normal businesses and have neither said their sister was missing, dead, nor joined in the search for her.

The missing Chacha has a case of forgery that is yet to be concluded. 

A suit instituted in a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT High Court 8) on the 14th of March, 2016, with suit number CV/1231/16, between Messrs Chibuzor Ogugua and Chigozie Eme (plaintiffs) and Mrs. Charity Aiyedogbon (defendant), made eight prayers to the Court. 

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