When the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), got married to his new wife, Zainab Abdullahi Yahaya, in a quiet wedding ceremony in Kano State over the weekend, he expected a blissful marriage. He had lost his wife, Hadiza, in 2017 to an undisclosed illness and remarried last Saturday.
But barely 48 hours after he tied the knot with his new love, the wife’s ex-lover, Zubairu Dalhatu Malamai, sprang from the blues and demanded the sum of N9,081,207.45, being the money he claimed to have spent on her during their relationship before she allegedly dumped him for the retired soldier.
The development immediately set the social media ablaze, as supporters of Zainab and Zubairu slugged it out in heated debates.
Zubairu, in a letter to Zainab through his lawyer, Ibrahim Isah Wangida, described the new bride as a “cheat.”
Wangida, in a telephone chat with Daily Sun, said the letter was true but insisted he did not leak it to the social media or any other media, as it was totally unethical to do so.
“I am his lawyer and I signed that letter. It’s not fake. But I disclaim the leakage to the social media,” he said.
In the letter, the bitter ex-boyfriend of Zainab insisted that he spent over N9 million on her, with the firm belief that the relationship was headed for the altar, after which they would become a couple.
The jilted lover, while chronicling how the N9 million was spent on Zainab, said he set up a business venture for her, aside from shouldering other needs of hers.
Zubairu, obviously smarting from the pains of a failed relationship, asked his ex-lover to return so many things both in cash and material or be drawn into a legal battle.
The letter read in part, “We are solicitors to Zubairu Dalhatu Malamai of No. 224, Durumin Zungura, Kano Municipal, Kano State, hereinafter referred to as ‘our client’ on whose instructions we write you.
“Our brief as disclosed to us is that, for over three years, you have been in a relationship with our client, where he has invested so much in your life, future and business when you consistently promised to marry him, even though you knew deep down in your heart you were deceiving our client but you allowed him to continuously spend money and resources on you while he was in the belief that he was doing that to his future wife.
“Be that as it may, we have our client’s brief that you have decided to pick another man for yourself as a husband. And while our client congratulates you in your new home, we have our client’s instructions to also disclose his displeasure over your reaction few days before your new marriage by taking an unnecessary fight with him, thereby insulting and calling him all kinds of names and your claims that he calculates all you have collected from him both as loans, investments and trip tickets so you can pay him as you are no longer in his life.
“In view of the above, we have our client’s instruction to demand from you the following;
“a. The sum of N2,778,207 only, being the sum for travel tickets for RSA on 20th March to 5th April 2018, UAE on 17th February to 27th February 2019, PRC April 2019, UAE on 13th June to 19th June 2019, UAE on 5th July to 10th July 2019, UAE on 30 September to 13th October 2019, the UK on 18th January to 23rd January 2020, UAE on 24th January to 25th January 2020.
“b. N1.5m loan for your investment,
“c. N200,000 only paid for you on behalf of Dan Tsanyawa.
“d. N450,000 only for clothing business in the U.S.
“e. N280,000 only for shop rent at Haneefa Plaza on Court Road.
“f. N350,000 only you borrowed to give your father.
“g. N350,000 only house rent refund.
“h. N300,000 only you collected as a loan, which you paid for your veils.
“l. N360,000 only for your China trip.
“j. N500,000 only you collected for your car purchase.
“k. N250,000 only for all chinchin investment.”
Other things demanded to be returned made by the lawyer on behalf of the ex-boyfriend to the customs’ CG’s new bride, include: “N1,763,000 only for LEFE clothes, six Abayas, which you took out of the 12 Abayas that were sewed.
“Company ID cards in the name of Zainab Abdullahi Yahaya, Fatima Abdullahi Muhammed and Adnan Abdullahi Yahaya,
“Company HP laptop was given to you, company HP laptop given to Adnan Abdullahi Yahaya, company uniform given to you, a pair of shoes, one set of luggage (5 pieces) one piece of Samsonite luggage, car number plate bearing Bichi Local Government.
“In view of the above, we have our client’s instructions to demand from you and we hereby demand from you the immediate payment of the sum of N9,081,207 only.
“Failure to heed to same shall leave us with no other option than to proceed with legal action to recover the said sum. Your choice in this matter is our preference,” the letter concluded.
The staff of the NCS discussed the matter among themselves in the usual office gossip fashion. But there has been no official reaction to the issue since it is a private affair of the Customs boss.
“This is not the official business of Customs. It’s a private one”, a Customs source told Daily Sun.
Ali’s new wife, Zainab, could not be immediately reached for comments.
Many Nigerians who commented on the matter asked Zubairu to take the issue as one of those failed projects, while some others asked him to press his former lover strong enough to recover some of his investments.
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