Ekiti court dissolves 21-year-old marriage over desertion

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By Funmilayo Okunade
Ado-Ekiti, Aug. 20, 2020 An Ado-Ekiti Customary Court in Ekiti on Thursday dissolved a 21-year-old marriage between Morenikeji Fagbewesa and her husband, Jide.

Naija247news reports that both parties had given their evidence on Aug.11 and judgment was then fixed for today, Aug.20.

The court dissolved the marriage on the grounds that Jide deserted his wife and did not take care of her and his children.

Morenikeji, 42, a resident of Oke-Ureje, along Poly Road in Ado-Ekiti, told the court that she met her husband in Ado-Ekiti and there was love between them.

She said that though he was not living in Ado-Ekiti, but his elder brother was living in Ado-Ekiti.

She added that he had nothing when he met him, but married him out of love.

She alleged that her husband impregnated another woman after she had given birth to their first child, saying he told her about the development but she discarded it then as a non-issue.

She said that, thereafter, he impregnated another woman.

The mother of three said that they had a disagreement and her husband abandoned her and the children for five years and later came back begging her for reconciliation.

According to her, during the period he abandoned her, she was able to build her house; saying when there was no money to pay for the house rent, she moved into her own house.

She added that, thereafter, her husband’s attitude changed and left for 15 days.

She said that there was a time she called him for their first child’s school admission fees; she said he ignored her, saying he had no money and he did nothing until the admission closed.

Morenikeji said that later the child decided to learn a trade in a medicine shop, but her husband refused to put pay the apprenticeship’s commitment fee.

She said that the two other children from the union are attending a private school and he is not doing anything concerning their welfare.

She said that he was not concerned about their welfare, saying she had been responsible for the children’s welfare.

She prayed the court to order him to be responsible for the welfare and the education of the children.

The petitioner also prayed the court to separate them and award her the custody of the children, saying her husband would not cater for them adequately.

The children are : Tomiwa (21) female, Victor (16) male and Molawa (12) female.

But the respondent, Jide, 45, a resident of No.30, Basiri in Ado-Ekiti, said his wife told him that he should join them in her house, that he should contribute to the building of the house, though reluctant but later consented.

He said that after he had moved in, she started misbehaving and talking to him anyhow, accusing him of destroying the house pavement with his motorcycle.

He said that there was a time she woke him up in the midnight and accused him of impregnating a woman and threatened his life, and he had to leave the house.

Jide said that the issue of their children was the cause of their misunderstanding.

He said that before then, she had no time for the children and would not buy anything for them except he did.

He admitted that their first daughter did not pass the WASCE examination and told her to retake her papers but his wife later told him that she had secured admission for her without his knowledge.

He said that not quite long, she came to tell him that she was learning how to operate a chemist without his knowledge, saying he went to his daughter’s boss and promise to pay for her apprenticeship.

He also admitted that that he had not paid the school fees of the other two children but wanted her to feel it, since she claimed that she had been responsible for the payment.

The respondent prayed the court for the separation and to award him the custody of his children.

The President of the Court, Mrs Olayinka Akomolede, observed that the marriage had broken down irretrievably, she consequently dissolved the marriage.

Akomolede in her judgment also awarded the custody of Victor to the respondent; adding that Molawa should remain with her mother while Tomiwa, the eldest child, should decide whom to stay with between both psrents.

She also ordered the respondent to be paying N5,000 as the monthly feeding allowance for the child under the custody of the petitioner.

She said that both parties must be responsible for the education of their children, while access to visit the children was granted to both parties.

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