Benedict Ugochukwu Akwuegbu would have struck again today, Saturday, December 5, 2020, as he planned to walk down the aisle with his sweetheart, Ruth Fuki Damla, in holy matrimony billed for officiating somewhere in Jos.
Unfortunately, the wedding may not hold at least, at the advertised venue on the invitation card. This is because the game is up even before it started.
The professional footbller is said to have been married to one Ifeoma in a union blessed with three children.
To that end, invitation cards were printed and distributed far and wide in preparation for what ordinarily would have been the talk-of-the-town ceremony.
Venue was St. Monica’s Catholic Church, Rantya, State Low-Cost, Jos, Plateau State.
But few days to the D-day, the Parish priest of St. Monica’s, Rev. Fr. Frederick Wukari, a certified civil lawyer was said to have carried out a painstaking investigation and discovered that the popular ex-footballer was still legally married to Ifeoma. As a matter of fact, their first son is in the university.
Based on that discovery, he politely declined the plan to have them wedded in his church even though before this time, Ruth, Akwuegbu’s new wife-to-be, had been attending wedding courses in the parish under his watch.
Rev. Fr. Wukari, when contacted, was to state later, in a telephone chat with Saturday Sun that the reason he declined to wed the couple is because such marriage contract runs contrary to both the ecclesiastical law of the church as well as the civil law of the land.
He explained that the Church is a rallying point for the family and promotes family unity among spouses for peace and reconciliation and should not hurriedly pick somebody’s husband and join him to another person.
But as things stand now, the priest in charge of the other parish, Monsignor Benedict Obidiegwu who also doubles as the Vicar-General, Adminstration of the Archdiocese of Jos, is said to have decided to wash his hands off the matter, on the same grounds.
This development has made the ex-footballer to start running from pillar to post in search of any priest or pastor that will be willing to join his hand and that of newly found beau in holy matrimony.
Msgr Obidiegwu who acknowledged Akwuegbu as one of his students when he was the Principal of St. Mulumba College, Jos, said if it was a matter within his powers to help out, he would have gladly done so, given the relationship between them.
But as it is, there is nothing he can do about it if he does not tender his divorce certificate from court as demanded by the law.
Asked to react to the rumour making the rounds that Akwuegbu was willing and ready to offer him any amount to wed them, he remarked angrily: “Gave me money for what? I have been a priest since 1971. I was principal of St. Mulumba College for 20 years. I have worked at Saint John Vianney Minor Seminary, Barkin Ladi for seven years. I taught in Federal College of Education for one year. So, I don’t think I am so much in love with money. I have seen money. How much is he going to give me? Will it make me rich? If I wanted to be rich, I would have done things that would make me rich. If the wedding will be here, I am the one who is supposed to wed them. If they had gotten clearance, I would have wedded them here.”
Akwuegbu is said to be making frantic efforts to have his dream of wedding Ruth actualized, somehow, somewhere today. But in the following interviews with Saturday Sun, both Juliet, his first wife, at present, based in London and the man spoke on the state of union between them.
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