July 12, 2024

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Ex-Naval Chief Asks Court To Stop Diezani From Using His Name

3 min read

Retired Rear Admiral Alison Madueke has urged the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere to stop his ex-wife and former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke from using his surname.

In a petition for jactitation of marriage (declaration that a marital union has ended), the ex-Chief of Naval Staff prayed the court to order Diezani to revert to her maiden surname of Agama.

He contended that her continued use of his names amid corruption allegations was harmful to him and could implicate him or result in mistaken liability, especially considering they were no longer legally married.

Rear Admiral Madueke, a former military governor of Anambra and Imo states, said he got married to Diezani on June 30, 1999 under the Marriage Act.

He said his wife started gaining recognition in social and political circles by virtue of the marriage, which produced one child.

According to the petitioner, the respondent started using the name “Alison Madueke” when she became a minister under the Jonathan Administration between 2010 and 2015.

Rear Admiral Madueke, in the petition filed through her lawyers Chidi Ilogu (SAN), Dr Nasiru Tijani and Adedamola Kikiowo, stated that his cohabitation with Diezani ceased in May 2015 when she left her position as minister and relocated to the United Kingdom, adding that they have lived apart since then.

The petitioner stated that Diezani sued for dissolution of marriage in November 2021 at the High Court of Nassarawa State sitting in Mararaba Gurku, citing irretrievable breakdown of the union.

He said he did not contest the suit, following which the court ended the marriage.

Rear Admiral Madueke told the court that Diezani has continued to use his name despite the marriage ending.

He stated: “On April 13, 2022, judgment was delivered in Suit No. NSD/MG345/2021 by Hon. Justice A.A. Ozegya dissolving the marriage between the petitioner and the respondent on the ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. The said dissolution of marriage has now become absolute by the operation of law.

“Though the marriage has been dissolved and is now legally finalised, the respondent continues to use the petitioner’s first name (Alison) and surname (Madueke) as her own without any justification or consent from the petitioner.

“It is now more than two-years that the respondent continues to use the name of the petitioner to his embarrassment.”

The petitioner stated that he instructed his lawyers to write Diezani to stop using his names and to revert to her pre-marital name (Agama), which they did on December 14, 2023, but she has neither responded nor ceased using the names.

“The respondent has continued to hold out herself as the wife of the petitioner even when the marriage has been dissolved.

“The respondent is undergoing criminal trials in both Nigeria and United Kingdom. The charge in Nigeria is Suit No. FUC/ABI/CR/208/2010.

“The respondent faces public allegations of corruption and financial misconduct, for which trials are ongoing for both.

“The persistent portrayal of the respondent as the spouse of the petitioner is creating embarrassment, a misleading impression and tarnishing the reputation, integrity, and public image of the petitioner.

“The respondent’s continued use of the petitioner’s first and surname falsely suggests to the public a continuing relationship between the parties though same has since legally ended.

“The respondent’s continued use of the petitioner’s first and family names poses a significant risk of legal and financial harm to the petitioner.

“Given the ongoing public allegations and trials concerning the respondent’s alleged misconduct, this association with the petitioner’s name could lead to mistaken liability or even implicate the petitioner in these legal issues.

“The petitioner seeks the intervention of this Honourable Court to prevent the respondent from further using his first name and surname, thereby safeguarding his image, personality, and reputation.”

Rear Admiral Madueke sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining Diezani from further using his names following the dissolution of their marriage.

He also prayed for a perpetual injunction restraining the respondent from further asserting by words or conducts the existence of marriage between them.

The petitioner prayed for an order directing the respondent to adopt and revert to her pre-marital surname (Agama) and to publish in a national newspaper in both Nigeria and the UK that she has stopped using Alison Madueke.

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