Wednesday, December 12, 2012
"I haven’t set my eyes on my children for almost a year now" Zaaki Adzay Cries Out
The last may not have been heard about the crashed marriage of hip-hop singer, Zaaki Azzay.
Though there has been a kind of truce for some time now, with Zaki and his ex-wife keeping mum, in what watchers have described as a graveyard peace. But Zaki has come out to break the silence, by accusing his ex-wife and non-governmental organisation, ‘Project Alert’, of illegally holding onto his children.
This outcry is coming after his estranged wife was said to have barged in on him at his office without prior notice, demanding to see their daughter (the only of the three children left in his custody).
In the words of Zaaki, “I don’t intend to say much because I had to convince my lawyer to allow me talk to you. You know the issue from the beginning. My wife left the house, two months later, she got some support from ‘Project Alert’. My anger now is with ‘Project Alert’ because they sent her with some thugs to come and kidnap the children two months after she left the house. She took the children and kept them under the custody of Project Alert. Now, with the way things are going, it’s like they are saying it’s not proper to obey the law.
“What Project Alert is trying to tell me now is that illegality pays more than being a law abiding citizen. They expect me to carry thugs and go and do the same thing, but I won’t. The court has not granted them custody of the children. Why don’t they wait until the court grants whoever it wants to grant custody before they abduct the children? Why I am speaking to you is because last Monday, my ex-wife walked into my office without informing me, without any prior notice, she just walked into my office. I was in a serious meeting with some people in my office. It was actually in a neighbouring office where we were having a meeting, a tenant and landlord meeting. She walked in, and I asked her to give me five minutes. But she declined, saying she wanted to see me immediately.
“I stood up quietly, took her past my office because my new secretary doesn’t even know her. I took her inside my inner studio and asked her what the matter was. She said she wanted to see Zara, that’s my daughter, the only one that’s with me. I asked her where the other two were, and she said that they were with Project Alert, and that if I wanted to see them, I should go to ‘Project Alert’.
“I take that to mean that she’s staying elsewhere, while the kids are with ‘Project Alert’. Now, is it ‘Project Alert’ that can take care of my children more than me? What kind of organisation is this? You see, my life is not even safe anymore, because they sent the same thugs they sent to adduct the kids to come with her to see Zara. I didn’t even know that she came there with some people. It was when she was leaving that I noticed that two guys were waiting for her in the car. One was standing in front of a lock-up shop opposite my office. And immediately she stepped out, the guy followed her. She then turned to me and said they were her colleagues. But I noticed they were the same guys that came to adduct my kids.
“My question now is why is ‘Project Alert’ keeping my children? I haven’t set my eyes on my children for almost a year now. In fact, my Christmas is going to be a black Christmas without them. What kind of organisation will promote divorce? They never called me or sent me a text all this while to hear my own side of the story. Instead they just saw an opportunity for cheap publicity and to make money because all they did was send me a letter after they have filed for divorce and asked me to pay N300, 000 every month and then went to the press. I have not seen my children close to a year now. Do they know the pain that is causing me? Do you know why I’m sounding like this now? These people are intimidating me.”
But reacting to the allegations, the boss of Project Alert, Mrs. Josephine Chukwuma, said she did not know that Zaaki’s ex-wife went to the musician’s office with anybody.
According to her, “I wasn’t aware of her visit to Zaaki with three men and that I would ask our shelter.”
She continued, “Hadiza ran to the organisation on June 4, alleging that Zaaki had become a threat to her life. She showed us scars and all that. So we put her in the shelter. And we were trying to discuss with him, he ignored us. We sent him a letter, he also ignored us. Anyway, the crux of the matter is that the woman ran to us for help.
“When she came we gave her shelter, because Zaki forced her out of the house. The woman now, on her own, ran away and grabbed two of their children. She wanted to grab the three children, but she couldn’t grab the last one. Nobody can determine custody of the children. The only people that can determine the custody of the children is the court.
“You can’t divide children into two and say you take half, and let me take half. She has grabbed two, while you have one. Now the woman says she doesn’t want the marriage again. Initially, the wife didn’t want to talk to the press. But then, do you know what Zaaki was doing? He was using the police to keep watch over this girl because he has a relationship with the police.
“Meanwhile the woman had earlier gone to complain to the police, but they didn’t answer her. When she decided to talk to the press in August was when she thought she had had it, and that her life was seriously under threat. That was when she came to us and said, ‘I’m ready to talk to the press.’
“We then invited members of the press to tell them that should anything happen to her, Zaaki should be held responsible. That he has been harassing her, using the police. We now did a petition on her behalf to the inspector general of police, and copied the Lagos police command.
“So she’s still with us. At least she has some peace and the children are going to school. The matter is in court, so he should go and wait for the court to determine the custody of the children. Court processes are slow. I have my lawyers that are handling it. It is not our job to ask any woman to pack out of her house. The decision is hers. She decided on her own. “
Meanwhile, the matter is due to come up in court for mention on December 11, 2012. She disclosed to The Nation that the bailiff has gone ahead to serve Zaaki the notice.