Oja Oba/ Mapo Court C Customary Court, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State, has adjourned till December 17, the divorce suit brought before it by a woman, Funmilola Oyedele, against her husband, Sheriff Oyedele.
Funmilola in her suit alleged that her husband was troublesome, neglected and denied her of her marital rites. She added that he was in the habit of beating her.
The plaintiff stated that she was tired of their marriage and, therefore, appealed to the court to end it. She further prayed the court to grant her custody of the four children their union is blessed with.
Sheriff did not admit to claim when it was read to him. According to him, he still loves his wife.
The court president, Chief Ademola Odunade after he had listened to both parties adjourned the case and ordered them to come with their children on the adjourned date.
Funmilola said: “My lord, I’m no longer interested in my marriage to my husband. Sheriff has made life hell for me. I moved out of his house in August because I couldn’t bear his maltreatment of me anymore.”
“My husband regularly descended on me with heavy punches any time we had a misunderstanding. Sheriff took to beating me blue black and would leave me nursing aches and pains all over my body.”
“He once beat me while I was stark naked. Neighbours who rushed to our apartment to settle the scuffle between us rushed back when they met me naked.”
She went on, “My lord, I wasn’t ready for marriage when we met but he pressurised me into marrying him. He promised my parents he would take care of me and also empower me. They therefore gave us the go-ahead to get married.”
“Sheriff stood by his words and enrolled me as an apprentice learning to be a chemist. He went further to set me up on the business. My parents and I were ever grateful for his benevolence act but he later took to upbraiding me.”
“Sheriff suddenly became arrogant and took to ridiculing me. He would throw it in my face any time we had a misunderstanding that he made me.”
“He did not stop at this. He regularly demanded money from me. His father noticed this and chastised him but he refused to change. He kept doing this and didn’t stop until he ruined my business.”
“My lord, my husband suddenly started complaining that I was too fat. He humiliated and embarrassed me with his complaint. He further ridiculed me before other family members by telling them I spoilt our bed and chairs. He then fought me. His mother berated him for his immature behaviour but he refused to change.”
“To my chagrin, Sheriff took another wife. I wasn’t in the know of this until four days before their wedding. It was his family members who informed me.”
“I accepted my fate and welcomed her in. What first caught my attention was his new wife’s slim figure. I then understood why he was complaining that I was too fat. Sheriff abandoned me immediately his wife moved in and stopped carrying out his responsibilities towards me and our children.”
“My lord, my husband was initially giving me N7, 000 per week as feeding allowance. This was to feed him, me, our four children and his mother who is living with us. But he reduced this to N4, 000 when he took a second wife.”
“He also denied me my conjugal rite and preferred to have sex with his new wife.”
“He came down hard on me but pampered his other wife. He ordered me to pound yam for his immediate and extended family while my rival was relaxing in bed.”
“He also started defaulting in the payment of our children’s school fees and wasn’t bothered about their welfare any more.”
“We fought on the day I left his house. That was in August. He warned that he mustn’t meet me at home. I, therefore, packed my belongings and left before he went mad with me again on his return and descend on me with punches.”
“My lord, I pray this honourable court to award me custody of our four children so that I can give them adequate attention.”
“I further implore the court to restrain him from coming to harass or assault me in my new place of abode or work place,” the plaintiff stated.
Giving his evidence Sheriff told the court: “My lord, I’m not ready to divorce my wife. I still love her.”
“All Funmilola said is a lie. I have never beaten her since we got married.”
“I have also been responsible for our children’s education and pay their school fees regularly.”
“What causes misunderstanding between us was her penchant for coming home late every day. Funmilola does not return home until 10:00 p.m when the children were already in bed. I expressed my dislike towards this habit but she remained adamant.”
“I did not maltreat her because of my new wife nor sent her packing. She moved out of the house out of her own volition,” he concluded.
@ Nigerian Tribune