The crack in Zaaki Azzay’s marriage to Hadiza, got bigger when the singer accused his ex-wife and a non-governmental organization, ‘Project Alert’, of illegally keeping his children in their custody.
The estranged couples had sheathed their swords for a while until this recent outburst by the torchlight carrying singer who says he is being intimidated by his wife and the NGO in question.
In his words, “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.”
The singer recalled a particular incidence at his office where he was having an important meeting and his ex-wife barged in on them without notice and demanded to see him immediately despite his plea for her to give him five minutes – a plea she declined.
According to him, “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 in its reaction, Project Alert among other things denied the allegation that it was illegally holding on to Zaaki Azzay’s children rather, it accused him of under-hand tactics and claimed that his wife was staying with them contrary to his claims that she wasn’t somewhere else.
According to the boss of Project Alert, Mrs. Josephine Chukwuma, “…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.