Yuli Krisna & Rezza Estily
Bandung. The controversial head of the West Java district of Garut, Aceng Fikri, is planning to report his teenage second wife, whom he divorced after just four days of marriage, back to police on extortion and defamation allegations.
Fani Oktora, 17, first reported Aceng, 40, to the National Police on Monday for domestic abuse, and Aceng’s lawyer Ujang Suja’i Toujiri said on Tuesday they would push back against the accusations with a police report of their own.
“We’ll file the report on Wednesday on the basis that [Fani] has committed an unpleasant deed, and that there are elements of extortion, deception and defamation here,” Ujang told a press conference in Bandung.
“She [Fani] promised not to make any charges; that this problem was solved,” he added. “But just suddenly this five-month-old case re-emerged, without her first communicating [with Aceng]. This is purely politically motivated.”
Garut is set to hold its district head election next year, and the re-election prospects for Aceng, a Golkar Party politician, were dealt multiple blows on Tuesday.
Golkar announced it would discharge Aceng from the party, and the Garut Legislative Council also decided to recommend Aceng’s dismissal from his post following a plenary session convened on Tuesday specifically to discuss the issue.
Council speaker Ahmad Bajuri said local legislators found that Aceng had failed to act as a public role model, citing another case in which he allegedly physically beat a subdistrict officer during a working visit to Garut’s Banjarwangi subdistrict office.
Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi, who ordered West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan to reprimand Aceng for the divorce, earlier said the council’s recommendation was needed to dismiss Aceng.
Aceng in July married Fani, who said she had agreed to become his second wife after he promised to pay for her to go to college and take her on an umroh (minor Islamic pilgrimage) to Mecca.
However, four days after the wedding, Aceng divorced her via text message. He told the media that Fani was not a virgin and that he had spent Rp 250 million ($26,000) for the wedding.
“Even sleeping with an artist doesn’t cost that much,” he recently told Majalah Detik. “After I bought her, I found out that she was ‘not as advertised,’ so I returned her.”
The statement has enraged the public, and even caught the attention of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who told Ahmad he was following the case.
Aceng apologized publicly during the Tuesday press conference for causing a “blunder” with his “private life.”
“I’m just a human. I’m not perfect. Therefore I feel the need to apologize to the people in Garut and the Indonesian public at large,” Aceng said.
“As for the truth in the matter, let the legal process solve this because [Fani] has reported the case to police. We as citizens have a right to do the same,” he added.
Earlier, on Monday evening, Aceng said he had “no intention to harass” Fani.