|Uche and Onyinye Nnaji
If you will re-call, Uche Nnaji CEO Ouch Couture sent out a broadcast sometime in December
My name is UCHE nnaji. At 1pm today I arrived the SIB in CP Ikeja – Lagos from Abuja where I had been honoured by mr President at Aso Rock along with 100 bright Nigerian youths .7hours after I got to the police with my lawyers whom was waiting for me here and a surety, the police tactfully delayed their effort and said I have to be detained here till tomorrow as the OC in charge skillfully left the office at 5pm. the petitioner is mr Kelechi Mbagwu 08023139667 who came to report that I threatened his life.( can u guys imagine ). I could have kept mute and called all the people I know to call the IG or CP but I need the Nigerian youths to take this matter up tonight as one of theirs is being intimidated by a money bag and the police is playing to his tune detaining me unlawfully. Long Live the Nigerian Youth, Long live a new Nigeria that we must all build.
has an interesting story on what actually started the problem. It’s quite a long article but a must read to the end. Some people are just plain wicked, if the allegations in this story are true. Click read more below:
This young couple only sealed their love for each other at a beautiful, yet compact wedding ceremony in the last quarter of 2013- Sunday, September 22, 2013 to be more precise. But since after the exchange of marital vows and after coming back from their honeymoon to Seychelles, it has not been a bed of roses at all for the couple. Why some are hell bent on traumatizing and destroying this young marriage of only 4 months beats our imagination?
We had thought not to react or do anything and just allow things to naturally take its course and blow over and be done with, so that the couple would at least get a bit of respite, so they can enjoy themselves and savour the first few months of conjugal bliss without a care in the world, but alas that has not been the case; it has been one stress after the other as the days go by.
Mr Kelechi Mbagwu at the couple’s wedding.
What is the genesis of their problem?
Apparently before the couple got married, his then girlfriend now wife used to work at a company, CMB. The company like everyone already knows is into real estates/properties, building maintenance etc and is owned by a very well connected and wealthy man Mr. Kelechukwu Mbagwu. In fact at the couple’s wedding reception Mr. Mbagwu (whose picture is shown above at the wedding in September 2013, advising the same couple he is now fighting with all his might) had the pride of place as he was very prominent on the day, reason being that his company and himself ably supported the ceremony, we even learnt that the couple’s trip to Seychelles the gorgeous lovers island was a present from CMB to the then just married couple. The premise then was that, nothing was too big a present, for a devoted star staff who diligently brought in millions in profit for her organization while the going was great.
So what could have gone wrong so quickly between the couple, the company and the MD; such that would warrant Onyinye quitting her beloved job abruptly only 2 days after she had just returned from her all expenses paid for (by CMB) honeymoon in Seychelles?
That is one thing that beats one’s imagination. Apparently long before Onyinye got married she had had a very good and very cordial relationship with her boss, some have even said she was one of his best staff; unconfirmed reports apparently say bringing in profit wasn’t enough. According to the case that has now been filed at the Ikeja High Court, the genesis of this matter might have begun over a case of sexual harassment which has now been turned on it face. Apparently Oga wanted something the lady couldn’t give. The lady not wanting to lose her job while also not wanting her boss to lose face, decided on a tactical game of hide and seek, thinking that over time the boss would totally lose interest.
Let’s try as much as possible to relate this issue from the perspective of the lady. When after the whole nuptial ceremony had been sorted and the honeymoon was done with and the lady felt now that her new status (being married) should protect her from untoward demands and thought to resume work- 2 weeks after, she met a major brick-wall; a demand for pay back or face the repercussion? Not wanting to soil her new bed, she apparently did the next best thing to do, she reported the whole matter to her husband of only a few weeks. Instead of them suing for sexual harassment, because she had apparently escaped being molested by whiskers. They then decided that the best thing to do was to immediately quit the job and let the matter rest. Mr. Nnaji then took all the company’s properties in their possession (including his wife’s official car) and her resignation letter to CMD the next day, thinking that was the end of the matter.
Since that particular action that has been misconstrued to be audacious, impudent and insulting by the MD, all hell has been let loose on them ever since. Truth be told, it has not been an easy couple of months for the couple, there have been threats upon threats from unknown sources, their once easy going existence has been beleaguered by harassment and fear. Even men of the Nigerian Police Force, have been used to harass the couple to no end, even as we speak.
First, a phantom petitioner from Abuja made claims of fraud against him, so men from the fraud unit came calling and so he had to go report at their office, he and the faceless petitioner were given dates to appear to come make their statements. While Uche reported on the given date, the petitioner has refused to surface till now 8 weeks after the petition. The next harassment that came their way, was in the form of ‘threat to the life of Mr. Kelechukwu Mbagwu”. Using is vast connections, Mr. Mbagwu had apparently petitioned the police claiming that the young couple had threatened his life, the evidence of the threat is a message that had been sent by his former star employee- Onyinye for him to leave them alone- This message below is the main reason for their suffering right now.
The exact message sent out is reproduced here-EXHIBIT A- ”Sir will you please leave us alone? This is the second time God is exposing you in my dream of chasing me and planning to kidnap me? Friends and family have been warning us of danger, and today the police invited my husband for a petition from a faceless person who he knows nothing about, I have cried and pleaded with my husband not to take this matter to the media. We don’t have the money you have yet but our mothers have taken you to God in their prayers. Remember what u told me about dying soon? They have used it as a prayer point except U amend your ways. I served you for 5yrs brought in hundreds of millions in sales and still didn’t get anything when leaving yet you won’t let us rest…stop appearing in my dreams pls”.
The text above is the exact message that was sent to Mr. Mbagwu, which is now been used as evidence of threat on his life. But the same Mr. Mbagwu, who we heard had threatened to deal with that ‘tailor husband’ of his former employee with all at his disposal, is walking around without any stress whatsoever. On Wednesday, January 29, 2014, policemen from the ‘special anti-robbery squad’ (SARS) arrested the pregnant Onyinye; reason(s) for the arrest, she constitutes a threat to the life of her former boss. She and her husband had been in hiding for the better part of 3 plus weeks now because of the many threats they have been receiving. She was lured out from their hiding place, via a phone call from her pastor who she has been praying with on the same issues, on getting to the pastor’s place she was immediately arrested.
Prior to this arrest, Uche’s store popular known as Ouch! had been invaded severally by gun-totting policemen on the pretext of looking for the award winning clothier, this men also harassed without provocation an innocent staff of the company at gun point, who couldn’t give the whereabouts of her boss to the fiery policemen. Just yesterday, Thursday, January 30, 2014 at a magistrate court in Ikeja, the highly traumatized Onyinye was charged for an amended charge of threat to life and intent to extort (demand for an SUV).
The amended charge reads as follows- Count 1- That you Onyinye Onwamaka Anthonia Nnaji ‘f’ and others at large on the 25th day of November 2013, at about 1830 hours at Ikoyi Lagos in Lagos Magisterial district with intent to extort or gain something from Kelechukwu Mbagwu ‘m’ and knowing the contents of writing, caused him to receive written text message from your mobile phone number- 23480935505937, demanding SUV vehicle from him without reasonable or probable cause and the text message containing threat of injury or detriment of any kind to be caused on him if your demand is not complied with and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 300 of the Criminal law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2011.
Count 2- That you Onyinye Onwamaka Anthonia Nnaji ‘f’ on the same date, time and place in the aforesaid Magisterial district with intent to extort or gain SUV car from one Kelechukwu Mbagwu ‘m’ did accuse him of committing felony to wit: attempted rape and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 301(1)(a) and punishable under section 301(2)(i) of the criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2011.
For one to fully appreciate the ambiguity in the charges, one needs to read all over again the full text of message that Onyinye had sent to her boss above marked exhibit A. The sad aspect of the whole matter is that a case had already been filed for hearing long before the hurried one at the magistrate court, at a high court in Lagos today, Friday, January 31, 2014. So why the hurry? What is going on?
After the court case on Thursday, she was remanded in custody till she would make her bail condition, which was set at N100,000 and the provision of 2 sureties that have paid their taxes consistently for the last 3 years. She’s even still in custody as this story is going on air.
Trying to get across to her husband’s phones is a problem, as they have been switched off for fear that they would be traced and he would arrested and molested, and just anything could happen to him.
With the direction that this unnecessary scandal has taken, we would love to ask several questions 1. Is there more to this issue than we are being made to believe? 2. Even if there was something between the lady and her boss before she got married, why is that now that she’s made up her mind not to continue, she and her husband can’t be allowed to live in peace? 3. Why use the apparatus of the state (police) to threaten, embarrass, scare, intimidate, another citizen of the state like yourself? 4. Is it true that because of this scandal, not less than 5 female staff members of the company have had to resign? 5. How come that the very distinguished & hardworking Commissioner for Police in Lagos is involved one way or the other in this case, especially why the need to go that high over a minor issue that should have been reported and handled at a police station? 6. Why involve the SARS & SIB ? 7. Where did the case of the faceless fraud petitioner come from and who is this phantom petitioner? 8. Is this a classic case of the scorned, doing all that is possible to get his pound of flesh? Lastly! What is going on to warrant all of this?
Another sad aspect of the whole situation is that Uche Nnaji’s business has been severally affected and is finances dealt with as he has not gone near any of his branches since the beginning of the new year.
Uche Nnaji is a very well known young man, who is extremely hardworking and an award winning individual who in under a decade has done fantastically well for himself. He started selling clothes while still an undergraduate at the University of Lagos, from his meager savings he was able transform from just buying and selling to owning and selling his own brands of clothing items known to all as Ouch!. In the last few years, he has opened not less than 4 branches in Lagos. He was chosen (the only one at that) to represent Nigeria at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in August of 2012. He has also won several awards one of which is the BusinessDay 40 under 40 CEOs, this is are those young ones who over the course of the years have distinguished themselves in their chosen fields. He was also one out of the 100 Guardians of the Future honored at the tail end of last year by Mr. President, Dr Goodluck Azikwe Ebele Jonathan, GCFR.
Until all the recent troubles of the past few months, he has always being known to mind his own business.