As tongues continue to wag over the state of the marriage of actress Tonto Dikeh to businessman and Charity Provider, Olakunle Churchill, he has said that he has never subjected her for any form of domestice violence.
Signs that there is trouble in their home emerged last year, with the latest information from the actress pointing to the fact that she has moved out of Churchill’s home.
There have been allegations that the husband once physically attacked her and that he had an affair with a lady said to be his personal assistant. The attack was said to have occurred when an issue came up in the house of the husband’s mother. But Churchill, who is the Chairman of Big Church Group and founder of Big Church Foundation, says in an interview that the allegations are false and a product of an attempt to blackmail him.
He says, “I wonder where they got such a ‘gist’ from. I don’t believe my wife will say that. Besides, I frown on such. This is apart from the fact that my foundation preaches against domestic violence at some of our charity awareness campaigns.
“It is obvious that these attacks are aimed at dragging my image and what I believe in in the mud. Well, the truth is that I have never raised my hands against my wife. I have evidence of CCTV cameras in my mum’s house when this happened. It can be replayed if you want us to go that far.”
Concerning the alleged unholy affair, he insists that it is a baseless rumour. “It’s funny to me because I don’t have any female personal assistant. My PA is Mr. Paul, who has been working with me over the years. Besides, it was a sponsored blackmail,” Churchill notes.
In an online response to an enquiry by a Nigerian who describes himself as a concerned fan of Tonto Dikeh, the actress confirms that she is not in Churchill’s home at present.
She says, “When a woman leaves her husband, she takes along her child because absolutely nothing else matters to her but the child. This is what I did and I happily give all access for his father to see him.
“Now my question to you (the fan) is: ‘Did your source also tell you that he has never called for once to ask how his son is doing?’ I will admit, I personally blocked his access to me for the sake of my emotional stability. But nonetheless he has the nanny’s number, my assistant’s contact, my part-time help’s number and many other mediums of reaching the son your source claims I ‘took away’. He could use all possible mediums wisely if he wished to.”
In the interview, Churchill says he is missing the boy. His words, “I have planned a worthwhile birthday party for him with friends and family members, but it’s sad that all efforts to reach him proved abortive and this is affecting my business and emotions. The mum won’t pick my calls. I’m very optimistic that the family will unite together for King Andrea’s birthday even though channels to reach my wife are temporarily off.
“I see nothing in this current happening. It’s a phase of life. But I truly want to call on bloggers and social media addicts to verify facts before assuming. Every marriage has its good and bad moments. With time, it will be well.”
In spite of the issues, Churchill says all is well with his business and charity work. According to him, the Big Church Foundation, which has floated a scholarship programme for students, among other efforts, recently donated relief materials to victims of the Southern Kaduna violence.
“It was a sad scene. They needed food, shelter, medications and all. But thank God, our presence made many of them to smile,” he says.