‘My husband abandoned our child when she was sick, buried her without my knowledge’

•She would have sold our daughter if I didn’t rescue her from her buyers —Husband

A woman, Rofiat Okunola has approached Ile Tuntun Customary Court, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State, seeking that the union between her and her husband, Kazeem Okunola, be dissolved.

Rofiat alleged that Kazeem abandoned their daughter when she took ill and that this resulted in her death.

According to the plaintiff, the defendant kept the death of their daughter away from her and further went ahead to bury her without her knowledge.

Rofiat, who stated that she was presently living separately from her husband because he was always maltreating further told the court she no longer loved him.

She thus prayed that it dissolve their wedlock.

Rofiat again appealed to the court to grant her custody of their other three kids whose lives according to her are not safe with their father.

She added that the court enforce it that Kazeem be made responsible for their upkeep and education.

Kazeem agreed to divorce but explained that he did his best in taking care of their daughter but that she, unfortunately, still died.

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Kazeem stated that he acceded to divorce because he no longer trusted his wife. The defendant told the court that the plaintiff once attempted to sell one of their children but that she failed in her plan.

Giving his judgment after he had heard both parties, the court president, Chief Olasunkanmi Agbaje, stated that more evidence was needed.

Ruling, he adjourned the case and ordered both parties to come with their children and family members.

The plaintiff stated that : “Kazeem is heartless and cruel and therefore unsafe to live with.

“He dealt ruthlessly with me for the years we lived together in our union and almost snuffed life out of me.

“Kazeem is a brute and derived pleasure in beating me.

“He cared less about my survival and that of our children. He never knew how food got to the table or how our children were clothed. He passed the whole bulk of his responsibility to me.

“My lord, I moved out of his house because I feared if I eventually die as a result of the deadly blows he usually dealt me our children would suffer.

Kazeem refused that I took our children with me or that I checked on them.

“Since I couldn’t bear not setting my eyes on our children, I sought a means of seeing them without his knowledge.

“My lord, I almost ran mad the day I went to check on them secretly and learnt one of our children, the second one precisely, a female, is dead.

“Her siblings, still sorrowing, told me their father failed to give her medical attention when she took ill and that he kept her death away from them.

According to them, they got wind of the occurrence through one of their father’s siblings.

“My lord, when I confronted my husband he failed to give me any reasonably explanation or account of how our daughter died.

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“My lord, I smell a rat. I’m not comfortable having the other children under my husband’s custody which is one of my reasons for dragging him to court.

“I pray this court to stop our marriage and hand over our children to me before they all die under  their father’s custody,” Rofiat said.

Kazeem, giving his evidence, said: “My lord, Rofiat is a liar. She is aware that our daughter had always had problem with one of her legs before she moved out of my house.

“Our daughter took ill again after Rofiat had left and like in the past, I rushed her to the hospital.

“My lord, I paid through the nose to take care of her but she eventually died.

“The day she died, she demanded for water which one of the nurses in her ward gave me a go-ahead to give her.

“She drank it slowly and after she was through, she took a deep breath and became still.

“I shouted to the nurses for help but it was too late. The nurses did all they could to resuscitate her but they later pronounced her as dead.

“I cried till tears ceased to flow from my eyes and went to bury her since it was obvious no amount of tears could bring her back.

“My lord, Rofiat and I were always fighting because she is not a caring woman. She was never committed to my welfare and that of our children.

“To make matters worse, she offered herself to be used by the devil when she attempted to sell our last child, Darasimi.

“The cat was let out of the bag when I received a strange call informing me of her plan.

“I notified her family members and we all went to the place where Rofiat took our daughter to and brought her home,” he told the court.

 

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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