Grade A Customary Court, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State, has ruled over a divorce suit brought before it by a woman, Aishat Zakariyah, against her husband, Taofeek Zakariyah, on the grounds of domestic violence.
The plaintiff also accused her husband of being fetish and subjecting her to constant fear as a result of his strange behaviour.
Aishat stated that she moved out of their matrimonial home because the defendant became brutish and constantly dehumanize her.
According to her, Taofeek has refused to ask after their children and also shirked his responsibility towards them in the areas of feeding, schooling and medical attention.
Aishat thus pleaded with the court if her prayer was answered to put their children in her custody, but make her husband fully responsible for their feeding, education and medical needs.
Taofeek was absent in court despite being duly served a hearing notice.
Aishat in her testimony explained thus: “I met my husband in 2014 and we got married in 2015.
“We held a traditional wedding and he paid my bride price.
“A few weeks into our marriage, my husband started deserting our home. He was hardly ever at home.
“I became curious and worried at the same time, and therefore sought to know where he went all the time.
“I later discovered that Taofeek was always visiting and consulting spiritualists whom he held prayer sessions with.
“He was informed by these spiritualists that some people who were close to him were hindering his progress.
“He thus abandoned his work, and moved from one prayer house to the other seeking deliverance, miracles and vengeance against his so called enemies.
“The more I tried to convince him that he has been brainwashed by these spiritualists, the deeper he went in consulting them.
“There were times he demanded that I visited the prayer houses with him, but I always refused.
“Any time this happened, he would neglect me and keep malice with me for almost a month.
“I reported him to his family members who admonished him to desist from such practice, but he turned a deaf ear to them.
“Taofeek used to dehumanise me any time he returned from prayers.
He once visited one of the prayer houses where he was informed that I belonged to a cult and was behind his woes.
“My husband returned home furious and started beating me with a broom.
“He went further to sprinkle certain water on me.
“I reported him to my sister who informed my parents.
“My parents notified my husband’s family of his misbehaviour, but my mother in-law rather than counsel him became hostile to me.
“Taofeek made incisions on my head and insisted that I fasted for three days non-stop while I was at an advanced stage of our second child’s pregnancy.
“This eventually led to my having a premature baby.”
The plaintiff further stated: “My husband was in the habit of bringing home fetish things to eat and drink.
“He carried out all sorts of abnormal activities which made me and our children abhor him.
“He returned from one of his prayer meetings one day looking fierce.
“He accused me again of being a cog in the wheel of his progress and then pounced on me. He dealt me heavy blows and refused to release me until I almost fainted.
“He collected my handset and the key to my shop from me and sent me packing.
“I moved in with my mother in-law who I believed would help mediate in our difference, but to my chagrin, she stayed aloof.
“My lord, I am fed up with my union with my husband and do not wish to continue in it any further.
“Taofeek treated me like an animal throughout the time we lived together. He placed no value on me.
“I desire to live a better life.
“I, therefore, plead with the court to end our union and put our children in my care.
“I also entreat the court to make my husband fully responsible for our children’s feeding, education and medical needs.”
Based on the absence of the defendant, the defense was foreclosed and the case closed.
Giving judgment, the court president, Mrs S.M Akintayo, acknowledged that both celebrated a valid customary marriage.
According to Akintayo, the defendant’s continuous absence in court showed he was not interested in his marriage and therefore not ready to save it.
Ruling, she declared their union dissolved.
Akintayo granted the plaintiff custody of their children and ordered the defendant to pay N15,000 per month through the court as their children’s feeding allowance.
The defendant, she stated, must not be hindered from seeing their children.
Akintayo ordered both to contribute towards their children’s education and advancement in equal proportion.
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