Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, on Wednesday, said she battled with tears when the children of the late popular gospel artiste, Osinachi Nwachukwu, narrated their late mother’s ordeal.
She spoke on NTA’s Good Morning Nigeria’s breakfast show monitored by The PUNCH.
According to the minister, the widower of the deceased, Peter Nwachukwu, brutalised his late wife and her four kids, adding that the late gospel artiste had no bank account of her own as all her proceeds were usurped by her husband.
It had earlier reported that the 42-year-old artiste died on Friday after spending days at an undisclosed hospital in Abuja.
Colleagues of Osinachi, who was a lead singer at the Dunamis International Headquarters, Abuja, accused her husband of beating her.
Subsequently, the husband was arrested by the police over the death of his wife.
Speaking on Wednesday, Tallen said she visited the Abuja home of the deceased on Tuesday to identify with the grief-stricken children.
The minister said, “It is so traumatizing, so heartbreaking, the death of Osinachi.
“When I came into the compound, I saw the children, four beautiful children; three boys, one girl. He (Peter) had told the children that they should not speak about the things that have been happening in the house.
“I came in with all the directors in the ministry. When I was asking questions, I saw that the children were not forthcoming. I excused everyone and said I wanted to have a one-on-one with the children.
“I first spoke with the first son. I asked him, ‘Do you love your mother?’ He said, ‘Yes’. ‘Has your mummy taught you to tell lies?’ He said, ‘Yes’. I asked him if she is still alive and he said she is dead. ‘Do you know that she is now your angel and she is now watching you?’ He said, ‘Yes’. ‘So, it will be very sad if you tell lies’.
“I introduced myself and I told him the President is concerned, every Nigerian is concerned, we all join them to mourn Osinachi’s death but what we want from him is the truth.
“Then he opened up… And said that their dad used to beat their mom and their mom was always sad. He would beat her and flog her. He said their father would gather them in the room and be beating them and if the mom comes into the room to stop him, he would turn back on her and beat her up. And that has always been the issue.
“They said it was their mom that runs around on her gospel music, comes back with her money, in fact, if the money is paid through (a) bank account, it was paid into his account. She has no account of her own, any money she has, he collects it and gives her just peanut for feeding and when she cooks, he started shouting and beating her. And their mom was living in fear and was always sad.
“It was such a horrible story from a young boy that is said to be just 12. I asked him what class he is and he said Class Five. At the age of 12? I said, ‘Why?’ And he said he can’t even read. So, mentally, this child is already destroyed.
“I was battling with tears and when he finished, I called on the second son.”
Tallen further said “the second son repeated the same horrible situation” as well as the third son.
The minister vowed that justice would be served on the matter as it would be followed to a logical conclusion.