Children of a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), and his wife, Ranti, who died on Thursday, have debunked reports that their mother’s death was caused by 28 years of domestic violence.
The six children, who paid glowing tributes to their late mother, made this denial in a statement sent from Kaduna to The PUNCH on Monday.
Two of the children, Paul and Benedict, who signed the statement on behalf of the six of them, said the comments of some personalities on social media and online reports suggesting that their mother was a victim of domestic violence, were false.
Although they said the marriage between their father and mother had its ups and downs, it never degenerated to a level where their mother had to suffer domestic violence in the hands of their father.
They also threatened to take “all necessary steps” against those who published “defamatory remarks” aimed at trashing their family name.
The statement read in part, “We are still in pain at loss of our beloved mother who meant the world to us.
“We may be in mourning at this time, but this in no uncertain terms should on any account be mistaken for weakness as we the children will not hesitate to take all necessary steps against all and sundry who publish defamatory remarks aimed solely at tarnishing our family name and indeed the image of our dearly departed mother.”
Ranti, a lawyer and a former member of the Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission, was aged 54.
She died in a hospital in Kaduna on July 6 (Thursday).
she was up till the point of death battling a divorce suit instituted against her by her husband some years back, had reportedly died of minor stroke in Kaduna on Thursday.
She was said to have fallen ill on Wednesday and died of heart attack on Thursday, the day she was scheduled to appear in court to give oral evidence in respect of the divorce suit.
Responding to online reports attributing the cause of their mother’s death to domestic violence, the children, although regretted that their parents had to live apart for the past four years, they described the reports as fallacious rumours.
The statement read in part, “We categorically debunk such fallacious rumours which are to the effect that our dear mother died as a result of years of being subject to domestic violence for a period of 28 years are published by several blogs and social media outlets.
“We reiterate to the contrary that we all grew up in a loving environment where we first hand witnessed the affection of both of our parents who within that period made tremendous effort to ensure all of us were raised to achieve our full academic potential and discipline.
“We are not unmindful that as with any marriage of 33 years, our parents’ marriage had its ups and down as disagreements are inevitable in any relationship talk less about a marriage of that length. However, this never ever at any point whatsoever disintegrated into any form of domestic violence as being painted in certain social media publications.
“The last four years of the marriage was a difficult experience for all us as we witnessed for the first time the painful experience of our parents living apart for that entire period.
“However, through it all we stood by both parents and never took sides. We made all efforts humanly possible to ensure both of them settled amicably but unfortunately to no avail.
“We also aware that several close friends, relatives and senior members of the profession also made similar attempts. And at this juncture we thank them for their efforts.
“We also debunk the publication by another so called ‘Cousin’ of ours who claims that we the children asked her to ‘leave’ her matrimonial home in Kaduna if not we would not ‘respect her’. This insinuation with greatest respect is one profusely offends us as this an attempt to paint us ‘as children without proper home training’’ which we view as an insult to our late Mother. Trust us, such a person if our late mother was alive would’ wear the same proverbial trousers with her. ‘
“We reiterate that at no point did any of us ask her to vacate the house in Kaduna but rather we did all we could to ensure that she remained there till her unfortunate demise.”
They expressed gratitude to those who had offered them “unwavering support and prayers in this time of grief”, adding that “the overwhelming support we have received from concerned relatives, friends and associates is testament exactly to her personality and enduring legacy she leaves behind”.
Paying tributes to their mother, they described the deceased as a devout Christian and expressed gratitude for the role she played in nurturing them.
The statement read, “Our Mother was the epitome of a devout Christian mother and a loving wife to our father.
“We are indeed grateful for the role she played in nurturing all six of us into the persons we have all become today.
“We only pray that the Lord God at this time grant us the fortitude to bear this loss and stand united to Honour our dearly departed ‘Mommy’.”
They also described her as “a voice of the voiceless, a matriarch to the community and an advocate for those living with disability”.
The statement added, “Our mother was a firm believer that there is ‘ability in disability’ and by her good deeds fought for the rights of people living with disability.
“She was also a consummate legal practitioner and active member of the bar for several years who immensely contributed to our family practice.
“Her passion was to cater in her own way for people living disability by creating ‘All Children’s Charity International Foundation’ (ACCIF), a project which was supported by the entire family.”