A retired Grand Khadi of the Kwara State Sharia Court of Appeal (SCA), Justice Oba Abdulkadir Imam-Fulani, has narrated how he wept after he ruled taking away a child from the custody of his mother.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Thursday, the retired judge said he considered the case as unforgettable and dramatic in his over two decades as Sharia Court Judge.
“I had one sympathetic matter at Lafiagi where I had to take a stern decision on a paternity matter involving a couple. The marriage had earlier been dissolved years back. Upon the dissolution of the marriage, the divorced woman took away the child of the marriage. She completely denied the man (the legitimate father of the child) access to his child.
“The man tried his best but couldn’t have access to the child. He finally lodged a complaint in the court. He stated that he had trepidation that he might lose the paternity of his legitimate child for life. The divorced woman was summoned to the court on several occasions and she eventually appeared before the court without the child,” he said.
He added, “During one of the proceedings, I ordered the appearance of the child and the divorced woman in the court simultaneously. And after several adjournments, she managed to produce the child. And I ordered a separation of the child from the woman and re-awarded custody to the man.
“The divorced woman and the man were living in different towns. The separation was painful to the divorced woman as she demonstrated right there in the courtroom, She fell on the floor furiously lamenting.
“I was emotionally disturbed as I felt for her but I was compelled to give the separation order because there was the serious danger that the man might lose the paternity of his legitimate child.
“After the scene in the courtroom, I went inside my chamber and wept. I mused quietly to God and said, God, you understood there’s nothing I could do other than to follow the law. I didn’t mean to use my office to hurt anyone”, he narrated.