Two employees of the late gospel singer, Osinachi Nwachukwu, told a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja today, Tuesday, October 11, that her husband, Peter Nwachukwu, verbally and physically harassed her.
Osinachi, best known for her gospel song “Ekwueme,” died on April 8. Her husband’s name. Mr. Nwachukwu is on trial on a 23-count culpable homicide and domestic abuse charge. He has been accused of being the cause of the late gospel singer’s death.
During the case’s resumed hearing today, a former Personal Assistant to the late Osinachi, Adetunji Moses, testified before the prosecution counsel, Yewande Gbola-Awopetu, that Nwachukwu referred to his wife as useless, sluggish, and lazy on multiple occasions during rehearsals.
Moses said he worked with the defendant and his wife as a PA and also a keyboardist from Sept 2018 to March 2021. According to him, he stopped working them because he could no longer bear the anger of Mr. Nwachukwu which was most times directed at him.
“In 2018, we traveled to Enugu. I was informed by the people who invited us that Nwachukwu left strict instructions that nobody should be allowed to visit mummy Osinachi.
It was later I got to know that her family resided in Enugu and they were the reason he gave the instructions.
On another occasion, we were to travel to Zimbabwe for ministration, and that morning, Nwachukwu got into an argument with his mother-in-law who was visiting at the time and due to the altercation, we missed our flight.
He tried to book us on another flight, but to no avail, and on our way back from the airport, having missed our flight, it was a serious battle as Nwachukwu kept abusing his wife verbally.
He told her that her family members were around to hinder our progress, to shut the door of the ministry and the blessings of God” Moses declared.
The former PA further claimed that the defendant told him not to allow the deceased’s twin sister to share the stage with her during ministration during a program in Lagos. He claimed that on a visit to Uyo for another ministry, a cheque in the deceased’s name was issued, and the defendant followed her to the bank to deposit the money into his account before paying the crew members.
“Some of the crew members like the bass guitarist got angry and left the group because of the defendant’s refusal to keep to the terms of their agreement which to pay them a percentage from every ministration,” he said.
Moses responded in the affirmative when I.A. Aliyu, the defendant’s lead attorney, asked him if the dead frequently complained to him about ulcer pains. How close Moses was to the dead as her PA was a question Aliyu also posed. He claimed that they interacted closely when they traveled for ministry outside of Abuja.
Moses was asked by the defense attorney if he was upset with the defendant because he wouldn’t raise his pay, but he said he wasn’t.
The hair stylist, Ms. Blessing Iyamabe, was also cross-examined. She said before the court that at some point in 2013 when she visited the deceased’s home to get her hair done, the defendant contacted his wife to ask for her car key, but Osinachi instead sent her son to deliver the key to the defendant.
“The defendant got angry, came to where we were making the hair, and slapped his wife.
I witnessed another abuse in 2018. He came to my shop and slapped the deceased for not seeking his permission before coming to the salon” she stated.
She claimed that once, out of dread of the defendant, she had to accompany the deceased to her daughter’s school to make her hair. She claimed that in order to conceal from the defendant, she was forced to create the deceased daughter’s hair in a restroom at a mall.
Aliyu questioned the witness on cross-examination if, as claimed in her statement to the police, she ever counseled the deceased to break off her relationship with the defendant. She retorted that the manner the defendant was treating her prompted her to offer advice.
Iyamabe responded that she had been informed that Osinachi passed away as a result of throat cancer when questioned if she knew what caused her death.
Justice Njideka Nwosu-Iheme, the trial’s presiding judge, postponed the proceedings till Thursday after hearing the testimony.