My relationship with my husband suddenly turned sour after he married another woman who is much older than him.
He threw me and our children out in the cold and swore never to set his eyes on us again.
He neglected our children’s welfare and cared less if they died. My husband despite being unkind to me still had the guts to drag me to court.”
“My wife is troublesome and refused that l had peace of mind.
I sent her packing after I got fed up with her constant fight and warned her never to come near my vicinity.”
These were extracts from the testimonies given by a couple, Fatimoh Aderemi and Sikiru Aderemi at Grade A Customary Court, Oja Oba, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Sikiru who dragged his wife to court for divorce gave lack of love and care, constant fight and domestic violence as his reasons for taking such a drastic step.
He thus entreated the court to restrain his wife from coming to his house or workplace to harass, threaten or interfere with his private life.
Fatimoh denied all the allegations her husband leveled against her.
She explained that she never disturbed her husband and his new wife, but that he threw her belongings out of his house and forbade that she came back.
The defendant prayed for the custody of their children whom she stated that their father had denied feeding allowance for some years.
Sikiru in his evidence said, “My lord, I pray to be divorced from my wife because she is a thorn in my flesh.
“I proposed to Fatimoh and held an introduction ceremony with her thinking she was an angel, but a few months into our marriage she started behaving like the devil’s incarnate.
“My wife stopped lavishing attention on me immediately she moved in with me.
“She neglected my welfare and bothered less about my health.
“Fatimoh is troublesome and was always fighting me.
“She denied me peace in our marriage and made life tough for me.
“The worst of it all is her violent nature which got me scared any time we had a misunderstanding.
“I came to the conclusion that she would sooner than later kill me, which spurred my decision to send her packing.
“My lord, I am no longer interested in my wife and I do not want to see her any longer in my vicinity.
“I pray the court to grant me custody of our children. I have a new wife who is capable of taking good care of them.
“I further request for an order forbidding Fatimoh from threatening me in my house or office and interfering with my private life.”
Fatimoh responding explained that, “My husband and I had a smooth relationship in our marriage.
“He dotted on me and was a loving father to our children whose welfare he never traded with.
“But all these changed four years ago after he was lured into an illicit relationship by a strange woman who is much older than him and held a wedding ceremony with.
“He brought this elderly woman into our home and hell was let loose.
“My husband became violent after this and sought every opportunity to beat me.
“I endured my husband’s maltreatment of me and faced each day with a heavy heart.
“I deliberately avoided having issues with him and his new wife so that peace could reign.
“My husband still not satisfied went ahead and threw me and our children out of his house into the cold.
“He flung out all my belongings and swore never to set his eyes on me again.
“Our children and I slept in a mosque for weeks until we were taken in by his mother.
“He was initially sending a meager amount through his mother for our children’s feeding, but he later stopped.
“Our children have received nothing from him for almost two years now.
“My lord, I pray that the court deny him his prayer on our children’s custody.
“I am alive and capable of looking after our children’s welfare.
“I beg the court to mandate him to be responsible for our children’s feeding, education and medical attention.”
The president of the court, Mrs S.M Akintayo after she had heard both parties stated that there was no marriage to be dissolved because no bride price was paid.
She granted the defendant custody of their children and ordered the plaintiff to be responsible for their welfare.
*(Photo illustration courtesy Saturday Tribune)