A customary court in Igando, Lagos, on Thursday awarded N1 million to a woman, Abimbola Olajumoke, after dissolving her 12-year-old marriage with her husband, Gbolahan.
Akin Akinniyi, the court president, said the union had broken down irredeemably, and said the woman should use the money as ‘severance package’ and rental fee for a new apartment.
Gbolahan Olajumoke had filed for the divorce in July last year on the ground that he no longer loved his wife due to her frequent fighting, lack of respect, fetishism, among others.
But the court referred the couple to its IDR Section as a means of resolving the differences in the marriage.
Months later, Mrs. Olajumoke told the court that they had resolved their differences, while the husband insisted that nothing had changed.
“We lived in a family house in Ikorodu and my wife was always fighting with members of my family. We left the family house because of that and moved to a rented two bed room apartment,” Mr. Olajumoke said.
“She continued with her fighting manner to the point of fighting the landlady which led to our being given a quit notice.
“She is also fetish. There was a day she called me and confessed of adding love portion into my ‘ewedu’ soup. She told me her mother gave her the love potion. Ever since I ate it, things have not being going well with me. So I had to pack out of the house to avoid being killed.
“She goes out at will. There was a time I ‘carried’ her in my car and her bag was filled with clothes. When I confronted her, she said her mother sent her to Epe. There was another time she went to market at Lagos Island and did not come back home. She claimed that the holdup was much.”
Mrs. Olajumoke, 49, from Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, denied all the allegations, saying she never stopped loving her husband and pleaded with the court not to dissolve their union.
“We have never fought before. There had been unsettled quarrels between my husband and members of her extended family. So I was only fighting them to protect my husband,” she said.
“We moved to a rented house. I was having issues with the landlady because my husband confided in me that the woman wanted going out with my husband. That is why she was always picking quarrels with me.
“His claim that I added love potion to his food was not true. I have never told him that I added love potion to his ewedu soup. His health only went bad because of the distance between where we lived and his place of work.
“I don’t see any reason for leaving him. I still love him. I still live in our matrimonial home with our three children at Ijoko. But if the court must grants his request, I plead the court leave me and children to continue living in our matrimonial home.”
While delivering judgement, Mr. Akinniyi, said the marriage had pitfalls because they exposed it to members of their extended family adding that the marriage has broken down irredeemably.
“Both of you have ceased to be husband and wife. You both should go your separate ways and any scuffle between you shall be treated as criminal.
“The respondent must return the dowry paid on her. While the petitioner must make available the sum of N500,000 as severance package and another N500,000 to rent a decent apartment for the respondent. The respondent will continue to live in the matrimonial home until the money is made available.”
“If any of you is not satisfied with this judgement, (he or she) has the right to appeal within 30 days of judgement,” Mr.Akinniyi said.
After the judgement, the petitioner Mr. Olajumoke protested that he did not have the sum.
“Where will I get N1million from,” he was overheard asking.