A NIGERIAN husband convinced his wife he could watch her using ‘spiritual power’ and made her sign a contract promising she would never lie, a trial has heard.

Lukman Shonibare, 44, told his wife Lyndsay, of Warrington, his powers meant he could see her smoking at home – but actually, he was watching her via a hidden camera, it is alleged.

The trial at Manchester Crown Court heard he frequently threatened to divorce his wife and made her sign and date a contract pledging never to ‘drink, smoke or lie’ in January 2020.

The court heard Mrs Shonibare was not given a chance to name her first son because he told her ‘in Nigeria women do not decide what their children are called’.

In a statement read during day one of his trial, she said he pinched and slapped her, telling her he was ‘the boss’.

Mr Shonibare, of Kings Road in Sale, has pleaded not guilty to one count of coercive and controlling behaviour.

Lyndsay told the jury her husband told her in 2020: “I’m spiritual and I can see these things. I know what you are doing."

In a statement read by Roger Brown, prosecuting, she said: "He threatens me with spiritual power and that he’s higher than another human being.

“It scares me because of spiritual powers in Africa."

She added he would "drink holy water from Nigeria, but he would always be angry".

Mr and Mrs Shonibare married in November 2015, had their first son in 2016 and second in 2019.

The court heard Mrs Shonibare was gradually isolated from her friends and family, at the request of her husband.

She told the court that she had gone for drinks with work colleagues in December 2014, before her husband reprimanded her for doing so.

"He said to me that he wouldn't marry someone like me if I didn't change my behaviour and he didn't want to marry someone who drinks or smokes", she told the court from the witness box.

"I just apologised and said I won't do it again," she said.

Warrington Guardian: Lyndsay Shonibare and her husband Lukman, with the latter on trialLyndsay Shonibare and her husband Lukman, with the latter on trial (Image: SWNS)

“It was easier to obey what he said than to go against what he said," she also told the court.

The court heard Mr Shonibare frequently threatened to divorce his wife and, in a statement, she told the jury he once pinched her more than 20 times before splashing her face with water so that she couldn’t speak.

She added: "My body was really painful from being pushed and pinched. He said he was the boss of me and splashed water in my face.

“I was too scared of the consequences than following through with getting help."

Mr Shonibare also took his wife’s mobile phone and smashed it, the court heard.

She lost more than 13,000 photos of her children growing up and her late grandparents, the jury was told.

“I lost everything”, she said. “My phone was always monitored and he would take it out of the house and delete everything off it. I couldn’t use the phone for myself."

Mr Shonibare's behaviour towards his wife became much worse after Mrs Shonibare's grandfather, who lived with the couple, died in April 2020, the court heard.

Speaking of her husband's behaviour in June 2020, Mrs Shonibare said: "I just felt like I was in a torture chamber at that point.

“I was trying to be a mother and I just felt mentally tortured daily."

She was smoking on the balcony outside her apartment following her grandfather's death in 2020 while her husband was out, the jury heard.

When he returned, he claimed he had seen her smoking with his spiritual powers, she said.

She later discovered that he was watching her using a camera which he had hidden in a boxing glove, the court was told.

Police became involved in April 2021, but Mrs Shonibare did not report anything to them until Mr Shonibare had left the home, the jury was told.

On day two of the trial yesterday, Thursday, Mrs Shonibare was cross-examined.

Warrington Guardian: He is standing trial at Manchester Crown CourtHe is standing trial at Manchester Crown Court (Image: Newsquest)

Defending, Steve Nikolich said: "He never stopped you from going to see any of your friends" to which she replied: "He said that they are all bad influences for me."

Mr Nikolich questioned Mrs Shonibare's relationship with alcohol, asking her whether her grandfather's death had any effect on her drinking, to which she replied that it had no effect.

He said that "the altercation of pushing your head into a pillow is a fabrication to cover your drunken state." She replied this was untrue.

Mr Nikolich also said Mr Shonibare did not have access to Mrs Shonibare's phone, to which she replied: "He would take it out with him".

Mr Nikolich showed Mrs Shonibare a series of photos, in which they were on holiday at Disneyland Paris, and commented that it looked like a happy time, but she replied that it was an "awful" time.

The trial, expected to last a total of three days, continues.