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Wife of Sterling Bank Manager Reacts to Allegations of Infidelity

Mrs Blessing Oko Ikpor, wife of estranged Sterling Bank manager Mr Anthony Oko Ikpor, has reacted to the allegations of infidelity levelled against her by her estranged husband, Anthony.

Mr. Anthony, manager of Sterling Bank, Rumuola branch in Port Harcourt, was in the news for secretly dating and later impregnating a lady despite being married to Mrs Blessing for 17 years.

The secret affair, however, came to the fore and got leaked to the public after the estranged wife Blessing stormed and disrupted the recently held wedding ceremony, in a video that has since gone viral.

The banker had, in an interview published by Igbere TV, accused Mrs. Blessing, whom he had four children (three boys and a girl) with in their 17 years of marriage, of adultery by allegedly bringing men into their matrimonial home.

He said he sent the wife packing after he discovered she got pregnant for another man and was almost bleeding to death in her effort to procure an abortion of the pregnancy. Anthony claimed to have the text message through which Blessing confessed to the alleged adultery to him, at the point of death.

But reacting in a statement made available to Igbere TV, on Tuesday, Mrs Blessing denied all the allegations levelled against her by her husband, insisting she was still legally married to Mr Anthony under the law as no divorce had been procured in the court of law.

The statement, which doubles as her formal response to the publication and interview granted by her estranged husband Anthony, was signed by Ibezimakor Ude Esq., a legal practitioner, on behalf of Worgu Boms Chamber.

It reads; “Our attention has been drawn to mountains of falsehood concerning our client, Mrs. Blessing Oko Ikpor, legal wife of a banker, Mr. Anthony Oko Ikpor which falsehood, against his wife of 17 years with 4 children – one female and three males – of Secondary School ages, we venture to state, is very, very unfortunate.

“In the mountains of defamatory falsehood making the rounds on social media which the said Mr. Anthony Oko Ikpo caused to be published, it was announced that Mr. Anthony allegedly got estranged from his wife because, according to him, he discovered that his wife used to bring in men which he later discovered were her lovers, into their matrimonial homes whom she disguised as her gym instructors and business partners.

“Mr. Anthony, in the trending falsehood, claimed that he sent his wife packing after he discovered she got pregnant for another man and was almost bleeding to death in her effort to procure an abortion of the pregnancy.

“Mr. Anthony claimed to have the text message through which our client, his wife, confessed the alleged pregnancy and the alleged adultery to him, amongst others.

“Whereas, Mr. Anthony claimed that the legal marriage between him and Our Client was over, at the same time, he stated that he had not been able to obtain a divorce in Court because of Corona virus Pandemic.

“Mr. Ikpo claimed that by returning our Client’s properties to her people in her ancestral home, the legal marriage they contracted in the Marriage Registry had ended, because, according to him, such was the traditional native law and custom manner of ending the marriage.

“It is curious that an educated citizen and a banker of standing, as Our Client’s husband, Mr. Anthony Ikpo, could so publicly speak abusively and lyingly and even ignorantly, about his marriage and his wife of 17 years with whom he had four children.

“For instance, he described her as valueless and useless a fellow. How a woman of 17 years in marriage with 4 (four)children could publicly and correctly be described as valueless and useless defies logic.

“We are aware that this is a matrimonial matter involving tender children whose future is yet unknown.

“We are also aware of the need not to deceive the public with lies and deception and manipulation, all intended to smear a mother of 17 years in marriage with four children for reasons that are obvious.

“We are guided by these two considerations in making the clarifications in this letter, guided also, by law and in the public interest since our client’s husband went public. For the records, we states as follows:

“1. Mrs. Blessing Ikpo, is still legally married to the banker, Mr. Anthony Ikpo, (as husband and wife) under the Marriage Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, their marriage having been contracted under that Act and regulated thereunder especially as to its dissolution and not by or under any lgbo Native Law and Custom as ignorantly touted by Mr. Anthony Ikpo.

When a marriage under the Act has to be dissolved, how it is done under any Native Law and Custom is absolutely irrelevant since it is not, in the first place, a marriage subject to Native Law and Custom.

“2. Mr. Anthony claimed that he went for an engagement or knocking on door or Introduction as prelude to marrying another lady.

However, from the video making the rounds, the ceremony was more than an Introduction or knocking on door as Mr. Anthony and the lady were seen kneeling before an elder for final marriage blessing.

The point must be made that whether it was Introduction or knocking on door or marriage proper, it is legally impossible for Mr. Anthony, still married to our client under the Marriage Act, to marry or purport to marry the lady or any other lady, for that matter, under whatever Native Law and Custom.

It is obvious from the video that Mr. Anthony has impregnated the lady and decided to blackmail our Client with tales of moonlight of an imaginary adultery against her, all to pave way and provide a leeway to legitimize his adultery as evidenced in the video, as one could hear references to pregnancy concerning the lady our Client’s husband is purporting to knock on day to marry.

“3. The allegation of pregnancy via adultery against our Client is most unfortunate. We state quite categorically that Mr. Anthony lied, to his knowledge, when he alleged that his wife of 17 years engaged in adultery, and got pregnant and was dying from her efforts at aborting it and had to confess to him. Mr. Anthony, luckily, said the confession was via text message. Mr. Anthony will do well to share it with the public having publicly claimed its existence.

“4. We state that Our Client has been a virtuous and faithful woman and wife to her husband of 17 years and has been faithful to her husband and in accord with her Christian belief and virtues and marriage vows. Our client had been worshipping God at the same Church where her husband was an elder and a member or the Church’s Board of Trustees.

“5. Since Mr. Anthony eloped from his matrimonial home with his new lover, he had shunned all attempts by the church and its elders to intervene and has since ceased to worship there. Was the church also involved in adultery? He even refused to grant audience to the Church’s General Overseer. This is not consistent with the allegations of infidelity against our client as he would have been keen to prove it with the church’s intervention.

“6. The assertion by Mr. Anthony that no member of his wife’s family made any efforts at resolving the issues between him and his wife is another lie from his because the eldest brother of his wife, whom he gave his wife’s dowry, called him thrice at different times for them to meet and discuss. On each occasion, Mr. Anthony told his in-law that he has not taken a decision on the matter and that once he takes a decision he will revert.

“7. In which Court is the said Divorce Proceeding pending which had been allegedly stalled by Covid-19?

“8. Which Legal Practitioner or human being issued this faceless Statement credited to Mr. Anthony?

“9. To which hospital was Our Client taken to when she was allegedly almost bleeding to death?

“As stated, we are restrained in escalating the washing of Mr. Anthony dirty linen in public for reasons we have stated earlier.

“However, we state that we have a duty to protect our Client’s good name, hard earned name and integrity, from being slouched by Mr. Anthony for temporary romantic gains together with his collaborators especially the media house through which our client was defamed.

“We state too, that under our law, to impute unchastity to a woman, any woman, is defamatory.

“The parties shall have their day at the appropriate Forum where truth shall prevail.”

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