By Onozure Dania
Tying nuptial knot is a great day for both man and woman. It is also a day for taking vows to protect and cherish each other and to remain faithful to themselves; after which they would both say: “I do” at close intervals.
The vows are even linked to God, that “what God has joined together, let no one put asunder.”
However in Lagos, as in other places, infidelity allegations are fast tearing many marriages apart.
And Customary courts have turned to battle grounds for those seeking to untie the nuptial knot.
At customary court, Ojo
A Grade A customary court, sitting at Ojo, is currently saddled with determining what happens to a 28 year old marriage, which the husband, 52- year old James Igboayaka, wants dissolved on the alleged ground of infidelity by his estranged wife, Ngozi, 47.
Igboayaka, who gave evidence, before the customary court President, Bola Giwa, yesterday, said that he co-habited with his wife since 1984 before he formally paid her bride price three years ago.
He dragged his wife to court based on assumption of infidelity, saying although he had not caught his wife red-handed, that he saw her with her male friends, who stay in the same house with him, up to 8p.m.
He also said that his wife, had even ordered one of them to slap him, the husband, if he asked him any questions.
He told the court that whenever he queried his wife while with her male friends, she would turn it to a fight.
According to him, the wife did not have any regard for him.
Igboayaka, who said that they were blessed with seven children, told court that, “my children misbehave to the extent, that they don’t care if am in the house or not. They just do whatever they liked,” adding, “they cannot even fetch water for me to take my bath, not to talk of washing my dirty clothes.”
Daughter remanded for contempt
While he was giving evidence, his oldest child, who is a 26 year old woman, told him, in front of the court, that he should tell the court the truth and should not lie. But the court President, Giwa, took serious objection to the intervention, asking that the daughter be thrown outside and locked up in the court premises, for contempt.
However, the hearing continued.
Igboayaka, who was visibly shaken, while giving evidence, said that there was no more love and care in the marriage and that his life was being threatened, as his wife had predicted when he will die, but that he could not remember the date.
According to him, he married his wife, when she was barely 19 years old in 1984, adding that he did not see anything that attracted him to marry her, except for the urge of getting married and that it was his parents that got his wife for him.
He further added that when his first daughter finished secondary school, he bought her JAMB form, so that she could further her education, but after the exam, he didn’t know if she passed or not, as she refused to give him a specific answer, of whether she passed or not.
“Even after the mother took her away from home and the reverend father of our church asked her to bring her back, I still asked her what she wanted to do with her life because as a woman, if she didn’t go to school, she should be able to learn a trade.
When asked why four of his children, were not in school, he said he was still struggling to make money so he can send them to school. He added that if the court dissolves the marriage and grants him custody of the children, he would be able to provide for them and that his wife of 28 years could go back to her parents because “that is how it is done.”
The court President, however, said that he foresaw problem for Igboayaka, as he didn’t seem to be responsible.
He added that the wife will not leave his house, until he provided her another accommodation, having wasted her life for the past 25 years.
He also said that he will not get judgment from the court, until he adequately takes care of his wife and also puts the children in school. The matter was adjourned till January 29, 2013, for further hearing.
Man wants marriage dissolved…
Also a 37 year old businessman dragged his wife before a Grade ‘A’ Customary Court, Agege, Lagos, seeking the dissolution of their five year old marriage, also over infidelity.
The petitioner, Tope Fasanmi, who gave evidence before Agege customary court, also accused his wife, Zainab, 32, of assault, brutality of house-maids, lack of respect and threat to life.
He told the court that their relationship, which was blessed with one child, aged five, became sour in 2007 when his wife failed to show up at their marriage registry.
“My wife is wayward, she doesn’t respect me or my family and she had threatened to kill me with a knife during one of our usual quarrels.
“The first two years of our marriage, I was the one cooking in the house; she doesn’t cook, neither does she know how to take care of the house.
“Also, any time we are fighting, which is normally caused by her, she always tells me that I am not the one she should have married but her banker friend, “ he said.
Fasanmi, who lives at 8, Metal Box Road., Ogba, also told the court that his parents in-law were the ones tele-guiding his wife.
‘My wife’s friends are divorcees’
“Anytime I plan with my wife, I always receive phone calls from her dad on what my wife and I discussed and at times, my father in-law always stopped my plans, which I didn’t like.
“All my wife’s friends are divorcees, and all my efforts to stop her from keeping them have proved abortive as I could not control her.
“My wife was too harsh to all the house-maids we have had; she used to beat them any how and I hate maltreating people, especially the less privileged.
‘’I got to know from her text messages that she was having an extra-marital affair with someone and it was through that message that I got to know that her mum was aware of the illicit relationship.”
However, Zainab, a trader who lives at No. 2, Igbowu St; Mushin, told the court that her husband wanted to leave her because she had stopped giving him money for his business.
“I have been with him through thick and thin; I have been an honest wife, faithful and always ready to listen to him.
“My husband has not been fair to me, he met me a virgin and no man had ever slept with me except him.