WHO WILL STAND FOR THE WIDOW?

Dr. Omolola Omoteso

Most of us never spare a thought for circumstances that don’t affect us directly. “Ehyaa!” and a shake of the head then we are off to the pursuits of finance or happiness, whichever takes our immediate fancy. As a result, a number of evils persist and fester in an unbridled manner one of which is widow abuse.

Widow abuse is a humiliating reality for many Nigerian women who lose their husbands. From strange cultural practices which include the swearing of oath and drinking water used to wash the corpse, to being stripped clean of all vestiges of the man’s earthly possessions.

Well, Dr. Omolola Omoteso falls into the second category. She found herself hounded, maligned and robbed, the instant her husband passed on, by his family members! Published here is a rendition of the situation in her own words. Please read to the end, calling the authorities to act lies with you.

My story seems complicated but it is actually not… The root is FRAUD. Fraud remains a crime not merely an abuse. I will summarise as concisely as possible knowing well that you or relevant authorities can investigate.

I am Dr. Omolola Omoteso based on marriage to Bola Omoteso. I am also known as Dr. Omolola Famuyiwa, brand name is @AnneMuyiwa, a combination of my middle name and last family name.

Opinions you form after reading this piece would point to your virtues and values as righteous with integrity or unrighteous without integrity. But understand as I often say that “Before and beyond legality is humanity”. Before we try to claim what is legal, we must consider what is human and humane. For many widows who have legal grounds, in-laws and other greed motivated persons use the holes in law to defeat legality and they go full force to rip humanity out of women who previously cared for them as family, parents, siblings, friends, tenants etc.

Many have asked questions – Did you have children with your husband? Were you with him when he died? Are you legally married to him? Is it true that your marriage was not up to 10 years? Were the properties acquired before he married you? Are you his only wife?

I dare say many of such questions are irrelevant to the issue of FRAUD. The real question is, “Was fraud committed by lawyers and others against you as the widow of Bola Omoteso?” And my answer is YES.

By referring to myself as Bola Omoteso’s widow, I have affirmed that my marriage to him was legal. My beloved wanted to be sure he was MARRIED-MARRIED, we had 5 ceremonies! Here is my story…

While I was still grieving the loss of my beloved husband who died on February 11, 2016, his brother doctored the death certificate, autopsy result; particularly the address – he wrote his own residential address, not my husband’s address. He is a lawyer so he knows the holes in law. Prior to this, he moved my husband’s corpse to an unknown location thereby giving himself full access to documentation unbeknownst to me. He asked his wife to collect the death certificate. The original death certificate (hospital copy) was never given to me.

He handed over the certificate to another lawyer who lied that he is my lawyer (impersonation) and applied in Lagos State for Letters of Administration in both our names without my knowledge or consent. The documents obtained (bank certificate) contained my name as if I legally obtained it. This was taken to the USA where it was used to open a lawsuit and push the fraud that my husband changed domicile because he who had full access to documentation wrote his own address in Nigeria not my husband’s address in USA.

Today, my husband’s siblings have succeeded in robbing me of my right as the Legal successor (my successorship right was revoked due to the fraud), impounded things we took to Nigeria, hijacked homes in the USA, disinherited me and also denied me of my husband’s inheritance from his father which his father’s Living Will and Last Testament awarded to executors and their survivors. My husband was an executor and I am his only survivor.

In the midst of my grief, I was approached by a woman to help with buying land so I do not become homeless, my friends and siblings raised money totalling over 50M Naira; no land, papers turned out to be fake until recently when we got other papers. We are trying to verify them. It could be fraud or perhaps some are trying to outsmart her too.

Influencers approached me last year and collected 250,000 Naira from my contacts to make the story trend. They started peddling lies through our Instagram handle and we had to close it. We discovered that of the money, only about 5000 Naira was spent on “pay per click”. Refund is still hanging.

My father’s health began to fail under the unending onslaught leading to a number of surgeries. Suicide was definitely an option but as a woman of God, God in His Infinite Mercy surrounded me with the vision of justice plus family and friends.

Following being locked out of one of our properties in the USA, the attorney working for my husband’s brother connived with Edgewater Police Officers to send me to the hospital on false diagnosis! I was sent into confinement. Thankfully the Holy Spirit whispered to me not to fight or force things in order to avoid validating the lie being pinned on me. When I insisted on my health rights, Englewood Police Officers were called in and I was brutalised. I have audio record.

Rather than sell the properties, which would still have given me money based on the fraudulent settlement I was compelled to enter, the attorney who locked me out simply worked through another attorney to pay off what we owe on the property and claimed it for those who inserted her into the case. She was promoted to partner status by the law firm where she works shortly after her “success”.

Vanguard did a full-page story (in print and online) but got threatened with a lawsuit. A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who did not do due diligence, went ahead to sue Vanguard on behalf of my husband’s brother who is hell-bent on using his connection as a lawyer to dehumanise me. Channels TV, TV Continental, Lagos TV, Top Radio, Daily Report, Brand Afriq, did stories but none has recorded the expected impact because YOU, the people, have remained silent.

My team and I have done quite a mass of research and I have done many personal videos which are available on Youtube.com/AnneCares. We also have a full length interview on YouTube recorded by Stella Damasus, seasoned actress. Maiyegun Politico shared a video I recorded and posted on International Widows Day, June 23. Sadly, despite being viewed by over 50,000 the conversation did not trigger expected response by the authorities.

Who do we still need? We, the PEOPLE. What do we still need? We need the people to call on the authorities to serve justice to widows. The longer you stay silent, the more fraudsters extend their depth and the likelihood you or your loved ones could be a target.

Walk With Widows is an initiative for widows and non-widows who are interested in enlivening widows, enlightening people and empowering stakeholders to demand that the executive, legislature and judiciary, protect widows from stigma, fraud, discrimination, dehumanisation and disinheritance. Our vision it to #ENDWIDOWABUSE globally beginning with Nigeria and USA. Feel free to join us on Facebook.

I am available to respond to relevant questions and provide all the facts to those who ask here or via Twitter @AnneMuyiwa. But do a search, you would be shocked at the information already in public domain. Why has no leader acted since the case indicts Lagos Judiciary, LASUTH, Bergen County Surrogates Court etc?

The pandemic of widow abuse is secretly endorsed because it pushes the borders of sexism, classism and ethnicism or racism to steal wealth from widows and hand it over to the “powerful”.

My core power is GOD; all powers belong to GOD. I am optimistic that the POWER He has injected and invested in the people of goodwill will speak to serve #JusticeforOmolola. I am hopeful that you will use the strength of credibility to uncover a deep plot in Nigeria and USA that has institutionalised the ABUSE OF WIDOWS via connivance of probate court staff, judges, attorneys, doctors, realtors, banks, tenants, police with in-laws who seek to use legal holes to defraud widows.

Typed in my own hands.

Every Nigerian should be concerned when the rights of one citizen are pillaged especially so brazenly. Today it is Dr. Omoteso, tomorrow it could be you. Take ACTION today!

4 thoughts on “WHO WILL STAND FOR THE WIDOW?”

  1. This has been on and saturated the space with no result yeilding action, for long,. …worrying…. Time to look into this again.

    1. Many thanks! Many widows are dying and I keep asking, how much worse does it have to get before the people arise for widows? All over the world people are calling for better; humanity beyond legality but widows are still hardly mentioned in manifestos and many states and countries have no agencies for widows. I commend you and other media folks for speaking out. We must keep standing strong to ensure that talk works to end widow abuse. We may be pushing for war, if talk fails. Let’s all make talk work by calling on leaders to ACT NOW.

  2. Dikembe Okonkwo

    The issues you have raised with regards to the property sale in the USA allude to foreclosure proceedings.

    By Law, the Edgewater Police could not lock you out of your home if you were the legally registered owner of the property as per the County Tax Records.

    If the properties were sold subsequent to Foreclosure proceedings, then this was legal based on the contracts that were signed to charge the properties. If the properties were used as a form of collateral in other money markets and there was a form of breach, the property seizure and sale was still legal.

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