Court dissolves 9-year-old marriage over husband’s abuse of step-daughters

Chief Ademola Odunade, the President of a Mapo Customary Court in Ibadan, on Thursday dissolved a nine year-old marriage between one Mary Dickson and John for persistently raping the two daughters she had before marrying him.

Odunade pronounced the union dissolved, adding that the court might  be left with no other option than to order Dickson’s arrest if he refused to take up the responsibility of the children produced by the marriage.

In addition, he awarded custody of the two children produced by the duo to the plaintiff and directed the respondent to pay N10,000 as the children’s monthly feeding allowance.

Earlier, Mary, a resident of Idi Ayunre area in Ibadan had petitioned the court to dissolve her union to her husband citing sexual exploitation of her daughters and threat to life as reasons.

She further stated that her husband had taken over the property jointly owned by both of them.

“After I got married to Dickson, the two daughters I had with my first husband sometimes came to spend some days with us and there was no problem because they were then eight and 12 years old respectively.

“However, I later discovered thatg the one who was 12 stopped coming to visit me because my husband had defiled her and and had regularly molested her and her younger sister sexually.

“Then, that daughter of mine told her friends who eventually informed me because she was afraid of telling me based on the fact that Dickson had threatened to kill her if she told me.

“Meanwhile, Dickson’s action of sleeping with both mother and daughters is an abormination in our hometown, Cross River State.

“My lord, as a result of his attitude, my daughter has married and cannot conceive till now and I have been sick for the past seven years too.

“I was told that a special ritual or sacrifice must be performed before my daughter and I could be well.

“Besides, Dickson is claiming sole ownership of the house we jointly contributed to build.

“I don’t have anything to take care of myself, please direct him to be responsible to the two children I had with him and to give me what is due to me,” Mary cried.

However, the respondent was not in court to respond to the allegations leveled aginst him and and it was the third time of his absence.

According to the bailiff, several hearing notices had been served on him, but he deliberately chose not to make any appearance.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Dickson had in September filed a divorce suit against his wife in the same court when he alleged that Mary abandoned him for no reason.

During hearing, the step-daughter in question testified against him, revealing all the atrocities her step-father did to her and her younger sister.

That case was then adjourned and Dickson subsequently refused to make any further appearance.



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