Except for divine intervention, the world of boxing would have been thrown into mourning as the World Boxing Council, WBC, heavyweight champion of the world, Nigerian-born Samuel Peter would have been dead, killed by his brother-in-law, after a family feud involving the boxer’s wife, Enobong.
Peter, who has been in the country for about two months now, since winning the world title, was joined by his wife and two kids. On arrival from the United States, the wife had reportedly spent two days with her parents before joining her husband at the hotel where he lodged in his native Akwa Ibom State.
But something snapped and what ought to have been a blissful reunion almost turned into a monumental tragedy. Trouble started when Enobong allegedly left the hotel for four days without telling the husband who combed everywhere in a frantic search for her. When she came back, the boxer reportedly banned her from going outside the hotel room because since she came, she never had time for him.
A source close to the family disclosed that as the champion wanted to collect the car key from her, Samuel’s mother-in-law, who was with her daughter phoned the wife’s uncle who on arrival, instead of making peace, told Samuel’s wife to “leave the stupid thing and come inside the car.”
The uncle, Tony Affia, an Uyo-based businessman, who was accompanied by Enobong’s elder brother, Godwin Edet Etim, a former councilor in Itam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State allegedly wanted to create a scene when he challenged Samuel to a fight. But the champion was said to have kept his cool.
“Why are you doing this?” Samuel reportedly asked but the wife’s uncle allegedly retorted, “You want to fight me?” At that point, Etim was said to have gone to the car, brought out a gun, corked it before Samuel, and pulled the trigger. But by some divine intervention, the gun fired blank and the mobile policeman guarding the boxer pounced on the would-be assailant and seized the gun from him. This show of shame unravelled before the boxer’s two children.
After the incident, the assailant went into hiding but was promptly smoked out by the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police who flew him to Abuja where the Inspector General of Police was briefed.
Though he was diplomatic and laconic when contacted on phone, Samuel Peter admitted that there was a feud with his wife and in-laws but stressed, “everything is going to be okay.” He also confirmed that the IGP knew about the incident, explaining that the assailant who was taken to Abuja had been released.
Asked when he was going back to the US, he said he would return: “in a couple of days” but would not accept that he was returning prematurely because of the incident. “No, I have to return to start my training,” he told Weekly Spectator cautiously.
He, however, clarified that the accused was not detained at the State Force Headquarters at Ikot Akpan Abia, Uyo, as claimed by the boxer’s father, Pa Okon Peter, in another telephone chat with Weekly Spectator.
Pa Okon Peter was so miffed by the incident that he told Weekly Spectator that if he were in his son’s shoes, he would have divorced the woman even if marriage were consummated in heaven.
Maybe, maybe not. But there is a happy ending to the saga for now with the miraculous escape of the heavyweight champion who has since scurried to the United States, his base.