Well known Nigerian businessman, Chief Tony in the early hours of yesterday September 23rd 2010, decided to grant an exclusive interview to Awareness Times newspaper following our edition hitting the newsstands about his alleged domestic violence towards his wife, Jacki Monti Tony, a French national. Chief Tony who had declined to speak to our reporter whilst at the Police station, granted an interview to this press house shortly before appearing at the Law Courts charged by the Sierra Leone Police with two counts of domestic violence allegedly perpetrated against his wife.
According to Chief Tony he revealed that he had been married for over 15 years to the same woman and he had never once before been accused by his wife or any other woman of assault or violence towards women either privately or to the Police. His wife is alleging that he beat her up and sprayed insecticide on her because she slept out of the house all night long with her friends after attending a party. The police say the evidence is strong but Chief Tony denies.
“I do not beat women up. I have never hit a woman let alone my wife,” Chief Tony said adding that he did not hit his wife but what happened was, “unknowingly to me she was coming behind me as I walked into the house and I slammed the door because I was angry, which coincidentally might have hit her.”
“I am a man that has tremendous respect for women, I don’t encourage people who hit them, why would I beat my wife now after 15 years of marriage?” he said, pointing out further that indeed he was angry when she returned home after sleeping out because “who will be happy for his wife to sleep out of his house throughout the night with strangers?”
According to Chief Tony, when his wife returned home after sleeping out, “she was drunk and smelling of alcohol” but that whilst he expressed anger towards her behaviour, he never did hit her. The wife denies saying indeed he hit her.
According to Chief Tony, he had warned his wife that she should not place herself in the company of “just anybody” because she should consider his reputation.
“People know me and they know my wife. People have a lot of respect for me in society so why should my wife not consider that and keep herself aloof from just anybody if she respects me? A married wife who respects her husband goes out without her husband’s knowledge, to party and to make it worse, she sleeps at another person’s house leaving her marital home?” he questioned.
After the interview granted, he was subsequently arraigned before Magistrate Davies Cole of Magistrate Court No. 11 yesterday, 23rd September on two counts charge of domestic violence perpetrated against his wife.
After the charges were read against him, Chief Tony did not enter any plea, but his Lawyer; Mr. Keifala from Wright and Co. stepped in and made a bail application on his behalf. In his application, Lawyer Keifala submitted that his client is a credible businessman and assured that he will not jump bail. The Lawyer further assured the court that he would ensure the regular appearance of his client in court and that his client will not interfere with the prosecution witnesses.
On the consideration of Lawyer Keifala’s application and submission, Magistrate Davies Cole granted bail in the sum of Le 50,000,000 (Fifty Million Leones) and a surety who should deposit his or passport to the Master and Registrar and should be a property owner resident in the Western Area. The surety must be approved by the Master and Registrar. The matter was then adjourned to Monday, 4th October 2010.
Following the arraignment, Chief Tony refused to grant an interview to journalists on the proceedings stating that, “The matter is now in court and I have too much respect for the courts to say anything again”.