Olakunle Churchill has slammed a N500 million lawsuit on his estranged wife, Tonto Dikeh, over her infamous May 2019 interview.
Tonto had revealed shocking details of her short-lived marriage to Churchill, a businessman, in a three-part YouTube series which was posted in May 2019.
In the video series titled ‘The Evidence’, the actress made some provocative and indicting claims against her ex-husband. She said the claims are some of the reasons she quit the marriage, which produced a son, King Andre Churchill.
She also alleged that Churchill is into cyber fraud, popularly called Yahoo Yahoo. According to her, she found out he was a fraud when she caught him clad in a red cloth, surrounded by red candles with a laptop placed on his lap.
The actress further claimed that contrary to widespread speculation that Churchill was related to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, his father was Mr Obasanjo’s gardener.
Following the series of claims made in the viral videos, Churchill has approached a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to seek legal redress against Tonto.
In the court papers obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, the court summoned Tonto warning that should she fail to appear in court 14 days from December 10, 2019, it may proceed therein with judgment even in the absence of the defendant (Tonto).
The 1st and 2nd claimants, Churchill and Big Church Foundation respectively, are claiming that “The series of malicious and fallacious allegations, assertions and accusations through media campaigns and publications by Tonto Dikeh and her charity group was defamatory.”
They also said the allegations are baseless and sponsored to tarnish and damage the image and his political ambition of the claimant.
SEE COURT PROCESSES HERE
Churchill said he might have told Tonto of his intentions to run for the House of Representatives in his constituency.
Back in April 2019, Churchill petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammad Adamu, over his feud with the actress.
He accused his former wife of document forgery and illegal sale of his Toyota Prado SUV vehicle worth N22 million.
It is unclear if Tonto has filed her response in court. Calls to her known phone number did not connect and a text message sent was not replied.
When contacted, Churchill confirmed the suit to PREMIUM TIMES.
“Shortly after the suit was filed in December, a bailiff went to Tonto’s Abuja home to serve her the papers but didn’t meet her. He went to her home at the end of January and realised that she has been out of the country,” he said.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt the case will come up on Tuesday.
The lingering marital drama between both parties took another twist in January 2018 after Churchill filed a suit against Tonto at the family court of the Lagos State Magistrate court.
He was challenging Tonto’s decision to feature their son, King, in a reality show.
According to him, the aim of the show is to exploit his son for financial gains and expose the life and times of the little boy at a period when he cannot make a decision for himself. According to him, the production is entirely an adult content.
Based on the suit, the Reality Show called “King Tonto” being produced by Linda Ikeji Media Limited and featuring King Andre could not be released or aired.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported that Tonto decided to lay bare her life for all to see on a new reality show titled, “King Tonto.”
Tonto and Churchill met in 2015 at Escape Nightclub in Lagos during the birthday party of the latter’s brother. Tonto got pregnant six months after they met and they staged a glamorous traditional marriage on August 29, 2015, at Tonto’s hometown, Rumukani in Rumukwuta, Rivers State.
Speaking in an interview at the time, Tonto opened up on the reason why she didn’t wed in church.
She said, “There was no white wedding because I was pregnant, I was also pregnant when I did my traditional wedding which was a big secret. My families were really excited and happy for me because that’s all they have ever wanted. One fear was me being an actress and the question was if I was ever going to get married.”
In February 2017, the Nollywood star confirmed there were cracks in the marriage.
By June 2017, Tonto’s dad returned her traditional marriage bride price to his ex-son-in-law.
Tonto, 34, who underwent a much-publicised beauty surgery which she said cost N5 million, has been outspoken about her crashed marriage.
She also told PREMIUM TIMES in 2018 that she hopes to remarry someday.