A couple who has been married for 33 years can now go separate ways after a customary court dissolved the marriage on Tuesday, June 21.
The court’s decision was based on issues of infidelity, dishonesty, and criminal tendencies, AfroGazette reports.
The Nigerian couple, Tobias Udeze and his wife, Chioma, have been in court since last year over marital disagreements.
Udeze had approached the Igando Customary Court on June 24, 2021, claiming that his wife did not love him, and had not shown it since they got married.
In his petition to the court, based on which he sought the divorce, Udeze, a clearing agent and a resident of No. 3, Olanrewaju Bello St., Igando, accused Chioma of having extramarital affairs, among other claims.
“As a result of her dishonesty, I consulted the elders who were always telling me to be patient with her, that’s why I still stayed for that long, I found out she was having extramarital affairs which she denied.
“She also abandoned me with our children for 10 years; our last born then was 10 years when she left without looking back.
“Sometime in 2008, I was asleep, around 2.00 a.m., she left the house, and by 4.00 a.m., police came to the house to whisk me and our first daughter away.
“When we got to the station they called out two men in handcuffs to identify me but they said I was not the culprit that it was my wife. They beat me so much saying I was an accomplice but I had to keep pleading until I was later released.
“In all of this my wife never showed up because she was scared of being locked up, I later learnt that she was into smuggling of goods, I am fed up of the marriage and I want the court to grant us a divorce,” he prayed the court.
On her part, Chioma, a trader, urged the court on to grant the divorce to Udeze, saying that she was equally fed up with the marriage.
“He has not been playing the role of a husband too, all my life I have been struggling to take care of the home and my children.
“What he said about me smuggling goods is also a lie, it was my friend who got involved in church fraud, she collected money from someone for a job and when the person didn’t see the result he brought the police to arrest her and when he did not see her he came for him.
“He accused me of infidelity yet he sleeps with my younger sister, I am tired of the marriage long ago, so let him leave my house because I am the one that built the house we are staying,” the respondent said.
Before announcing the dissolution, having listened to the two sides of the argument, the Court President, Adeniyi Koledoye, lamented how the couple, who had been married for over three decades and had grandchildren, could not settle their issues between themselves.
“The court finds it strange that the respondent left her matrimonial home for 10 years without her husband’s consent, which is enough to dissolve the union, the question is where was she throughout this period?
“However, the court has come to the conclusion that the marriage between the petitioner and the respondent has broken down beyond retrievable and as such the dissolution of the marriage succeeds,” Koledoye said, as quoted by pulse.ng.
As to who owned the house, the judge asked the couple to petition the High Court to help them sort it out.
“And if it belonged to the petitioner, he should pay the respondent the sum of N200,000 to enable her move out,” he added.