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I gave birth to a disabled child because of my husband’s negligence, wife tells court

A 40-year-old petrol attendant, Seun Olaleye, on Wednesday told a Lagos Island Customary Court that her second child became crippled due to her husband’s negligence. Seun, a mother of three, whose husband, Gbenga Olaleye, had approached the court for the dissolution of their 16-year-old marriage told the court that her husband would abscond whenever she was pregnant.

She told the court that their marriage was blissful until she was pregnant with their first child and her husband left the house to rent another apartment. “Whenever I am pregnant, my husband disappears; he leaves me with no money. Most times, I was going to his parents who could do little because they were aged.

“I had three children for him, two girls and a boy, and once he knows I am pregnant he leaves the house only to return when the child is about a year or two. “I needed to undergo surgery to be able to give birth to our second child but my husband refused to help. Eventually, the child was forced out of my womb and it affected him because he was born crippled.

“Our boy, Matthew, is now 11 years old but he cannot do anything on his own. “I and the children had been evicted from our rented apartment and now squatting with a friend while my husband stays in a three bedroom flat at Egbeda with another woman,” she said. Seun told the court that her husband had never been there for her when she needed him and urged the court to dissolve the marriage.

She, however, pleaded with the court not to allow her husband saddle her alone with the responsibility of taking care of their children, especially, the boy who needed special attention. The husband, Gbenga, 43, who did not deny his wife’s allegations, told the court that his wife was troublesome and that was why he left the house.

Gbenga told the court that on several occasions, his wife had come to his place of business to abuse and embarrass him. “My wife comes to the market where I sell to abuse me; she tells people that I have low sperm count just to disgrace me when she knows that I am the father of her children.

“I am tired of her troubles. I am no longer interested in the marriage,” he said. The president of the court, Mr Awos Awosola, said that women are precious gems that should be appreciated and not maltreated. Awosola ordered the husband to hand over the keys to the three- bedroom flat he rented to his wife since he could not provide a befitting accommodation for his family.

“You live in a three-bedroom apartment while your wife and kids are homeless, you should be ashamed to call yourself a man,” he said. He ordered the wife to calculate how much she had been spending on the children’s school fee and upkeep since the husband abandoned them.

“Let the court know how much you had spent and how much it takes to take care of the one with special needs to enable us determine how much your husband would pay for compensation,” he said. He urged the two parties to maintain peace and adjourned the case till Aug. 15 for further hearing.



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