Romanus Okoye, Lagos
The Igando Customary Court in Lagos dissolved an 11-year-old marriage on Thursday over allegations of adultery.
The Court President, Mr Koledoye Adeniyi, held that it appeared that the couple was tired of the marriage as efforts to reconcile them failed.
“Since both parties consented to the dissolution of their marriage, this court has no choice than to dissolve the marriage. The court hereby pronounces the marriage between Mr Tayo Owolabi and Mrs Molade Owolabi dissolved today; both of you henceforth cease to be husband and wife,” he said.
“Each of you should go his or her separate way unmolested; the court wishes both of you well in your future endeavours.”
Koledoye said that the petitioner must be responsible for their children’s feeding, education and general welfare.
The husband, Tayo, had sought an end to the marriage, claiming that Molade, his wife, brought her lover into their bedroom for sex.
“Our 11-year-old daughter used to tell me that her mother brings a man home and that she used to see them making love. I once saw her love chat on WhatsApp with a man called Timothy; when I asked her, she quickly deleted those messages. I reported her to her two eldest sisters,” the now husband submitted.
Tayo further told the court that Molade was having an extra-marital affair with another man identified as Stanley.
“Molade came to my mother’s burial in Ondo State and left that same day; I later discovered that she came with Stanley and both of them lodged in a hotel,” Tayo said.
“I was still in my village when Molade called that she was sick and admitted. I rushed to Lagos the following day and I was told by the nurses that a man came to pass the night with her; I later discovered him to be Stanley.
“When I confronted Stanley, he confessed that he was in a relationship with my wife but begged for forgiveness. I decided to know more about Stanley; so, I searched for him on Facebook and saw pictures of him and my wife which were taken inside our bedroom and on our bed,” he added.
The 35-year-old unemployed man presented to the court the pictures printed from Stanley’s Facebook page as evidence. The petitioner said that he moved out of their matrimonial home when his wife said she needed space.
“There was a day we had a misunderstanding and she got me arrested. At the police station, I was asked to make an undertaking that I would not return to my house, a promise I have kept.
“Two weeks after I left the house, my wife changed her marital status on Facebook from married to divorced and also changed her surname to her maiden name. Our neighbours called to tell me that Stanley always came to pass the night in our house.”
According to him, Molade has been denying him sex since December, 2018, and always threatened his life with a knife.
In her response, Molade consented to the divorce and also accused her husband of infidelity. “My husband has been cheating on me without my knowledge. I got to know last week when I went to his family house, where I met his new wife and a baby of about six months.”
The 30-year-old trader denied having affairs with Timothy and Stanley. “I sell watermelon; Timothy is my customer while Stanley comes to assist me in my shop,” she said. “The picture of Stanley and I that my husband saw on social media were taken in the sitting room not in our bedroom as he claimed. Stanley came to stay with me when I was admitted at a hospital because my husband travelled for his mother’s burial and there was nobody to stay with me.”
The mother of three said that Tayo turned her into a punching bag. “My husband is a wife beater; he once beat me to the extent that I lost a pregnancy. I have scars on my body due to his frequent physical assaults on me.
“One day, he beat me, tore my clothes and pushed me out of the house naked. Our neighbours clothed me; I went to the police station to report the matter, and he was invited.
When the police asked me what I wanted, I said I needed space – that he should leave the house for me, for some time.
“He was then asked to make an undertaking that he would give me space as I requested,’’ Molade told the court; adding that she denied her husband sex because she no longer had any sexual feelings for him.