Madam Caroline Madu, the mother of the late gospel singer, Osinachi Nwachukwu, yesterday, told a Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, that the gospel singer had only ulcer, and that Osinachi’s husband, Peter Nwachukwu, called her (Caroline) a witch and threatened to kill Osinachi.
The 61-year-old Caroline Madu, who appeared as the first prosecution witness before Justice Njideka Nwosu-Iheme, yesterday, told the court how Mr Nwachukwu beat the late songbird and how her plans to rescue her daughter failed.
According to Madu, the last time she set eyes on her daughter was about a year ago when she went for a programme in Enugu, where she (mother) resides.
She told the court that Peter never allowed Osinachi to visit Enugu and even pick up her calls.
She said: “It is about a year since I last saw her. She came for a programme in Enugu and I went there to see her. I have never gone to her house since she got married.
“When I was sick she said she would have to beg her husband first before she can come and see me.
“My daughter’s husband did not allow me to visit them. He used to call me a witch. I have been begging her to come, she said if she comes he would kill her and that she has to ask her husband first, that her husband would not allow her to come out, if she does, he would cane her.”
She recalled going to church with them one day and after the service, Peter drove off with the kids leaving Osinachi and her stranded.
The singer’s mother, who spoke in Igbo language but translated by Iheohara Chukwuka and Ufomadu Justina, accused Peter of coming to steal her child.
During Osinachi’s pregnancy, the mother said her husband would beat her and when she asked her to come and see her, the singer’s husband would refuse.
The mother said the situation forced her to send her elder daughter, Favour Madu, to go and bring Osinachi home.
The move was successful as Osinachi stayed a year and three months before Peter sent some pastors to plead with her family to take her back.
According to her, Osinachi agreed, telling her family: “What God has joined together, no man should put asunder.” The late singer was said to have returned to her husband, who then resumed the beating.
He slapped, poured water on her — Victim’s sister
She further told the court that when Osinachi gave birth to her third child, Chinedu, she called that she was starving and didn’t have what to eat.
She said: “When she called, I immediately called my child, Chibuzor, to go and see her. Before then, I had gone to Abakpa market in Enugu to send foodstuff to her.
“Chibuzor only stayed for four days and started crying. Chibuzor said Peter did not allow him to rest, and that he was always disturbing him.
“I begged Chibuzor to stay for a week to help his sister, Chibuzor said he wanted to return home as he was not comfortable.
“Chibuzor said one day Osinachi told him to wash the children’s clothes but Peter refused and poured water on Chibuzor, telling him not to ever touch his children’s clothes.”
Related: We Won’t Release Gospel Singer, Osinachi’s Autopsy Report To The Public, Says National Hospital
Meanwhile, she said when she asked Osinachi for monetary assistance, Madu claimed the late singer could not give her as all her income was deposited in Peter’s account.
Osinachi had only ulcer— Mother, sister
On Osinachi’s health status, Madu maintained that her daughter only told her that she had ulcer, whereas the husband had claimed she died of lung cancer.
Under cross-examination by Peter Nwachukwu’s counsel, I. A. Aliyu, Favour said she never knew if Osinachi suffered from another ailment.
Upon hearing about her daughter’s death via radio and television on April 8, the grieving mother said people started coming to her house crying and around 7 pm Peter used Osinachi’s number to call to tell her about Osinachi’s death.
Also, in her examination-in-chief by prosecution counsel, Aderonke Imana, sister to Osinachi, Favour Madu, maintained that she never knew of any other sickness Osinachi suffered from, aside ulcer.
“My sister was sound when she got married to Peter. It was only ulcer I knew Osinachi was suffering from, and the sickness was as a result of her husband starving her and the children,” she stressed.
No joy in the marriage
Narrating to the court the relationship between Osinachi and the family, Favour said: “My relationship with my sister was not okay because the husband would not allow her to associate well with me.
Anytime was on phone with her and her tone changed, that means the husband was around. Then I would ask if the manager was around.
That’s what we call him because he was my sister’s manager. So she couldn’t relate well with me because of the fear of her husband.
“We only talked on the phone, not always, we did not see because the husband won’t allow us to visit or call.”
“The relationship wasn’t good because the same man did not allow her to do anything for my siblings. This happened when my father died. They were coming to my father’s village in a car together, He was the one driving and he was driving recklessly, with the whole family in the car.
“Because of the way he was driving, Osinachi said he should take it easy because he was carrying the whole family in the car, he slapped my sister and poured water on her inside the car.
“Coming to the burial, my sister, Osinachi, could not sleep even a day in my father’s house. Peter took all of them to a hotel, while we were there we couldn’t even relate well with Osinachi and her children because of the husband.
“The relationship was hell. No joy, no peace, he beat her like an animal. He did not want her to do anything with our family.
“He insulted her anywhere with slaps and kicks. There was nothing like joy in the marriage.”