Late gospel singer Osinachi’s employees told the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja on Tuesday that her husband, Peter Nwachukwu, verbally and physically abused her.
Adetunji Moses, a former personal assistant to Osinachi, while giving his testimony led by the prosecution counsel, Yewande Gbola-Awopetu, alleged that on different occasions, Mr Nwachukwu referred to his wife as useless, lazy and indolent during rehearsals.
He said he worked with the defendant and his wife as a PA and keyboardist from September 2018 to March 2021.
Mr Moses alleged that he left because he could no longer bear the defendant’s anger, which was most times directed at him.
He recounted how Mr Nwachukwu prevented the deceased’s families from visiting her while the music crew travelled to Enugu, over claims that they hindered her success.
“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,” Mr Moses alleged.
The former PA further alleged that during a programme in Lagos, the defendant instructed him not to allow the deceased’s twin sister to share the stage with her during ministration.
Mr Moses stated that on a visit to Uyo for another ministration, a cheque was issued in the deceased’s name, and the defendant followed her to the bank to transfer the money into his account before he paid the crew members.
He alleged that some crew members left in anger over the defendant’s breach of the agreement.
During cross-examination, the defendant’s lead counsel, I.A Aliyu asked Mr Moses if the deceased always complained about ulcer pains to him, and he said yes.
Asked about his closeness to late Osinachi, Mr Moses said they had close interaction whenever they travelled for ministration outside Abuja.
The counsel also asked him if he was angry with the defendant because he refused to increase his salary, and Mr Moses replied no.
Also giving evidence, Blessing Iyamabe, hair stylist to the singer, alleged that sometime in 2013, when she went to the deceased’s house to do her hair, the defendant called his wife to give him her car key, but Osinachi sent her son to provide the defendant with the key.
“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 alleged.
Ms Iyamabe said on another occasion, she had to follow the deceased to her daughter’s school to do her hair because of fear of the defendant.
She also alleged that she had to make the deceased daughter’s hair in a toilet at a mall because she needed to hide to avoid the defendant.
While cross-examining her, Mr Aliyu asked the witness if she advised the deceased to leave the defendant, as stated in her statement to the police.
She responded that she gave her the advice because of how the defendant treated her.
When asked if she knew what led to Osinachi’s death, Ms Iyamabe stated that she was told that she died due to throat cancer.
After listening to the testimony, Justice Njideka Nwosu-Iheme adjourned the matter until Thursday to continue the trial.
Mr Nwachukwu is standing trial on a 23-count charge bordering on domestic violence and culpable homicide. He is accused of being responsible for the death of the late gospel singer who was popularly known for her song “Ekwueme”.
The police arrested Mr Nwachukwu after Osinachi died on April 8.