By Goddy Ejomafuvwe
Among her people in Obeibe-Ihima, in Kogi Central, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan stands out for her complexion and erudite command of the English language. They are features including a privileged background that have projected her to eminence among the people.
However, for the traditional and conservative lots, her life and social standing is another matter. Whether it was because of this or for some other reason that she was unable to hold down a husband from around her environment is an issue that cannot be readily ascertained. But for a woman who is seen as loving the limelight in politics and social environment, the news of her marriage to Emmanuel Uduaghan earlier this year was one that inevitably brought the limelight on her. And she loved it.
The light on her marriage and person was triggered by the fact that the immediate past governor of Delta State also bears Emmanuel Uduaghan. That was the first controversy that came with the marriage.
As the blare over the marriage settled down, and folks here and there got to know that it was not the former governor, but another Emmanuel Uduaghan, attention began to shift away.
That was until recent happenings here and there over her bid as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the Kogi Central Senate seat.
That bid is now being swallowed in the storm over what was alleged as pre-nuptial agreement of sorts between her and Chief Uduaghan.
According to initial reports, she had demanded N10 billion as compensation from her husband for his alleged failure to honour a promise to divorce his wife and marry her.
For one seeking political office, such a report was bound to be seen as a bomb, especially against the background of the conservative values of the people of Kogi Central. According to a letter that was leaked that was supposedly authored by her lawyers, Idemnity Partners, she was said to have made the demand in the face of losses she allegedly suffered in the course of her relationship with Uduaghan.
Among the alleged losses were her decision to stay back from business, support to him in terms of loans and also that she suffered miscarriage in the course of the relationship.
The damaging insinuations also tended to paint her as a usurper and one who would do anything including breaking a home to satisfy her passion.
It was as such good for her that a few days after the letter from her lawyers went into circulation and among many users on social media that the law firm came out to disown what was said to be the original letter.
The law firm wrote:
“We are solicitors for Mrs. Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan.
“Our attention has been drawn to a letter trending on social media purporting to have been issued from our law firm in respect of our client and her husband.
“We categorically distance ourselves from the purported letter and its alleged contents.
“The letter is UNAUTHENTIC and of dubious origin. Accordingly, we urge the discerning public to ignore it in its entirety.”
The letter was like the first one signed by B.C. Igwilo SAN for Indemnity Partners.
What, however, has rivetted attention to the issue is the seeming lethargic reaction from the law firm to the serious issues that were raised in the first letter especially against Chief Emmanuel Uduaghan. Besides being allegedly compelled to divorce his first wife, he was also alleged to have, in collaboration with a domestic aide, served Natasha a drink to compel an abortion.
It would also be of concern to the law firm to find out how those who supposedly masterminded the first letter were able to get the stamp of the law firm to write such a weighty letter.
Even more, questions will be focused on the near similarity of the signatures in the two letters, a fact that may suppose an internal work or someone very crafty in forging signatures may have been at work.
Given that the law firm has flatly dissociated itself from the first letter, the onus may now be on the principal partners in the marriage to prove to all that the issues raised in the letter are false.
To wit, that Natasha did not force or compel Chief Uduaghan to divorce his first wife and break their home. They would also need to assuage the minds of those who were swayed by the specific details in the first letter including issues relating to house helps and such.
If the issues raised against Natasha and her husband were indeed fake, it must indeed mean that many of those around her may not truly love her to have provided so much details as to frame her. That is false love and one hopes that is not what she is carrying into the election.
*Goddy Ejomafuvwe, a seasoned journalist/public affairs analyst, writes from Asaba, Delta State.