“He calls himself an alfa, but he is wicked and diabolical and has succeeded in making a mess of my life. I pray the court to please separate us so that I can put my life in shape again.”
These were the words of Mrs Aminat Rafiu, a hairdresser, before Ile Tuntun Customary Court, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Aminat had approached the court, seeking the dissolution of her 10-year-old marriage to her husband, Alfa Taofeek Rafiu on the ground of forceful marriage.
She further prayed the court to grant her custody of their only child in order to take good care of him.
“I was introduced to my husband who is an alfa by a friend when I was encountering some challenges in my business. My thinking then was that he would pray along with me and give solutions to my problems, but I was later proved wrong.
“The first time I went to him, he poured water in a small bowl and gave me to drink. I also drank some other concoctions. It never occurred to me that he was using juju on me
“I later discovered that I was always thinking of him and seeking every opportunity to be alone with him.
“We started having an affair and I packed out of my husband’s place to his. That was how I became his wife, the plaintiff stated.
“After I moved in with him and had a child for him, he warned me never to ask after the children I had for my first husband. Then he took to beating me.
“Any time we had a disagreement, he would flare up, pounce on me and dealt me with blows. At times he would hit me with any object at his reach.
“He has no regard for my parents and even beat me in the presence of my mother, “she added.
“My husband is jealous and hates to see me interacting with people, even our co-tenants. Any time he saw me with the opposite sex, he concluded in his mind that I was having an affair with the person.
“I later came back to my senses when the juju he used on me became ineffective. I packed my belongings and moved out of his place.
“Since then, he and his other wife have been maltreating our son. I met him on the road looking dirty, hungry and in his tattered clothes. He was hawking chin chin.
“I took him to my sister’s place, put off his clothes, bathe and fed him and also put a new cloth on him.
“My sister advised that I call his father and inform him that our son was with me.
“When I did, he went irate and rushed to my sister’s place.
“He took the new cloth off him and dressed him in the tattered one and took him home.
“My husband has refused to send our son to school. While his mates are learning in school, he’s busy working as a labourer, packing sand for blocks by the riverside, “she said.
“My lord, I don’t want my life and that of my son ruined. I, therefore, plead again that you separate me and my husband and grant me custody of our only child.”
Taofeek agreed to his wife’s prayer of divorce but disagreed that she has custody of their son.
“I’m also no more interested in a marriage with a whore. She can go if she wants to but she can’t have my son, the defendant said.
“I once caught her in bed with my younger brother; she pleaded it was the work of the devil. I felt betrayed and never trusted her since then.
“Three months later, I discovered she was having an affair with one of our co-tenants. The issue was brought before the landlord association in my area. She packed out of my house because she couldn’t stand the shame in the neighbourhood. She left with our son.
“I tried all I could to have her return my son, but she refused.
“She later got into trouble with a policeman and called me to help her. I promised to help her only if she returned our son to me and she agreed.
“She later met him hawking chin chin along the streets. She was also hawking kunnu. She took him to her sister and changed his cloth.
“She later called and told me our son was with her sister. I was mad when I heard this and rushed to her sister’s place.
“I demanded that my son be handed over to me. After they did, I removed the new cloth he had on and put the old one back on him.”
After listening to both parties, the court president, Chief Agbaje Olasunkanmi adjourned the case till May 24.