Family and friends of Mr Kelvin Martins, a Nigeria-born naturalised Danish citizen have expressed divergent views over the controversy surrounding the claims that Sandra Agho is the wife of Martin,leadership report.
Agho claimed she was betrothed in a traditional marriage rite, she noted she also gave birth to their only son which is currently in the custody of Martin the father in Denmark.
The dispute between the duo is now a subject of investigation at the Edo State Police Command, and Interpol had led to allegations and counter-allegations.
In the heart of the bitter dispute is their four years old son, an expansive multimillion naira duplex, plots of land, a micro-finance company, and a Toyota Highlander car, which Martins who was married to a South Korean woman, Mina Martin, (now late), had instructed his counsel, Douglas Ogbankwa, using the instrumentality of the law to reclaim from Sandra since the relationship between them has gone south.
As the controversy rages, a mutual friend of the duo, Mr Matthew Ogiame, said to have attended the marriage from a photograph sighted, when contacted denied ever attending the marriage ceremony.
In his words, “There was nothing like marriage. What I saw was a party. When I got there none of Martin’s brothers, sisters and parents were there. Let her bring a video or photograph to justify her claim.
“I was deceived to be there. Since we are friends of Martins we didn’t just want to leave like that so they don’t see us as bad people. I don’t know anything about marriage. It never happened.”
Also, a family member of the Martins, who did not want to be mentioned, corroborated Matthew Ogiame’s position.
“One thing I know is that Kelvin was legally married to a South Korean woman named Mina and the entire family is aware of it. I don’t think he was married to any other person. If they said Sandra was married, ask her who was there when they got wedded. In Benin, if we want to marry, the parents of the boy and the girl usually come together and go for the marriage,” he said.
But Goddy Orhorho, who claimed to be a cousin to Martins said Sandra was traditionally married to Martin who was unable to attend the wedding but asked him and other family relatives to stand in for him.
“I’m related to Martins. Sometimes in 2021 I and some family members related to Martins went to marry this young lady on his behalf. There was no issue then and even after the marriage when Martins came to Nigeria a few weeks after he took us to Barden Barden Hotel to host us in appreciation of what we did on his behalf.
“After that, he took us to his house in Ugbor to host us again. Martins is my cousin. At the time the marriage was conducted Martins father was sick and he wasn’t in a good relationship with his siblings too, that was why he sent me and Mathew Ogiame a bosom friend to organise other family members for the wedding,” he said.
Before the demise of Mina, Sandra was said to have flown to Tanzania to meet with Martin and Mina. She was said to have muted the idea of having a child for them since Mina could not conceive as a result of ovarian cancer.
Martins stated, “She is the one who requested that she will have a child for me and my wife. She did that because she knows I had no child. I even offered that if she wants to see our child I can make an arrangement and we will meet in Dubai but they don’t want that. The Interpol warned me not to go to Nigeria. Johannes is my biological son. If a child is not with his mother he is with his father.
Sandra on her part fired back in a petition dated July 29th, 2022 addressed to the Inspector General of Police, (IGP) accusing Martins of child trafficking, deceit, and abduction.
Part of her petition reads, “I am constrained to bring to your notice the fraudulent act of my husband, Mr Kelvin Uyi Martins, who dishonestly asked for my hand in marriage from my parents and I have resided with him in his house at GRA, Benin City, Edo State for 14 years.
“Subsequently, I got pregnant and had a baby boy on 16th March, 2019. He invited me to pay a visit to Denmark with my child and the trip was scheduled for the 14th August, 2019. But my visa was denied by unseen hands.
“My child was flown to Denmark and finally taken over by my husband. Thereafter he sent me a divorce letter and asked me to park out of his house and he sent assassins after me so that he will continue to be with our child in Denmark with another barren woman who cannot bear a child for him. It is unfortunate; he used me as a baby-producing machine.”
She added that her interest was to have her son returned to her and vowed to use all legal means available to get justice.
At a press conference in Benin, Sandra dismissed allegations to appropriate Martins properties and added that all the landed properties she bought on his behalf were in his name.
She said the Toyota Hilander jeep was a gift from Martins having delivered a baby boy.
She stated that the Interpol and other relevant agencies are aware of the matter and expressed optimism that in due time her son will be returned to her.
However, in a recorded voice note sent to LEADERSHIP Weekend Martin explained that he couldn’t have contracted another marriage as it is against the law because he was legally married.
He said a meeting was arranged between Sandra and his late wife in Tanzania. “My wife had insisted on meeting the person who wanted to have a child for us.”
Martin further stated, “She is the one who offered to have a child for me and my wife. She met my wife and said she was doing it because my wife had cancer and couldn’t have a child. She was like a family friend to me and my wife. After that, my wife lived for five years before she died and she started making trouble and telling lies. I challenged her to back her claims of marriage with concrete evidence.”
“Sometimes in April 2022, Danish Interpol visited me with a claim that Sandra petitioned Nigeria Interpol that I stole my child, and I was married to her. I allowed Interpol into my apartment in Denmark due to the reason that I work with the military as well and they explained to me that there was nothing illegal in the way I brought my son to Denmark.
“They said they think she wants a relationship with me. I told them it was not possible for me to have a relationship with her because I just lost my wife.
“They concluded that with all the lies against me and the Danish Embassy, they banned her from coming to Denmark and they sent their report to Nigeria Interpol and that was why she is now sending a petition to the Inspector General of Police, IGP to Abuja claiming that we connived with the Interpol. This can be confirmed from the Interpol in Nigeria. Since she made this petition in June nobody has contacted me again on this.”
On the allegation of abduction and child trafficking, a document dated 21st January, 2020 with ref No: WLC/SPA/2020/001, which emanated from the legal firm of Obasuyi & Obasuyi in Benin with the caption, (Letter Of Consent To Kelvin Uyi Martins In Order To Have Full Custody Of His Son Johannes Owen Martins) indicated that she Sandra consented to it.
Part of the letter reads, “We, are solicitors and write on the instruction of Sandra Palmer Agho hereinafter referred to as our client. Our client who is presently resident in Nigeria is the biological mother of Johannes Owen Martins who was born on March 16th, 2019.
“The biological father, Kelvin Uyi Martins of the said Johannes Owen Martins is presently resident in Denmark specifically at Kongedybet 2, St. TV 2300 Copenhagens, Denmark.
“This letter is thus meant to notify the necessary authorities both here in Nigeria and Denmark that our client, Sandra Palmer Agho, gives consent of full custody of Johannes Owen Martins to his biological father Kelvin Uyi Martins.”
The letter further added, “This Letter of Consent is further supported by an affidavit of Consent personally deposed to by Sandra Palmer Agho and it is our hope and anticipation that this letter is accorded the necessary attention.”
But Sandra, who expressed confidence in justice told newsmen that at the end of the day justice shall prevail.
“On March 6th, 2021 I got married to Martins in a traditional rite. It is quite unfortunate that it has come to this.
“How can he deny that there was no marriage? This was a marriage where the venue was paid for, marriage material was made and over 100 people were in attendance including his friend. There is video to the effect and other evidence which will be produced at the appropriate time.
“As stated earlier, my interest is not in his properties but in my son. My son should be returned to Nigeria,” she said while weeping profusely.