‘My wife slapped me, poured hot water on me ‘cos I told our daughter to stop bleaching, wearing trousers’

•He beats me, takes sides with his second wife ‘cos I bore him female children only —Wife

“She refused that I have a say in the home. She fights me for correcting our eldest daughter who is bleaching her skin and wearing trousers. She once slapped me for beating our fourth child and at another time poured hot water on me during a scuffle.”

“He neglects me but dances to his second wife’s tune because I bore him female children. My children and I survive on frugal meals day after day, while he and his second wife treat themselves to sumptuous dishes.”

These were part of the testimonies given by a couple, Ridwan Ibrahim and Jelilat Ibrahim.

Ridwan had dragged his wife before Oja Oba/Mapo Court C Customary Court, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State on the accounts of frequent fight and violence by his wife which, according to him, were taking its toll on his health.

According to the plaintiff, his marriage to Jelilat was contracted 20 years ago and blessed with five children.

The plaintiff explained that he had tolerated his wife’s shortcomings enough and couldn’t endure any longer. He as such pleaded with the court to dissolve their union and grant him custody of their five children.

Jelilat stood against their wedlock being terminated. According to her, she had laboured and suffered with her husband for years and that he could not now discard of her when things were rosy. She added that Ridwan sowed the seed of discord in the home the moment he took a second wife.

The defendant stated that her husband’s second wife never ceased to taunt her.

She explained that she bore her husband five children and that they were all female while her rival had a male child.

Jelilat in addition said Ridwan took to starving her and their five children while he refused to contribute a dime towards their eldest child’s vocational training.

“I’m tired of living together with Jelilat as husband and wife. Jelilat has given me enough problems and I can’t bear it any longer. My health is daily deteriorating because she has ceased that I have peace.

“I stopped trusting her about nine years ago when a man suddenly surfaced, laying claim to our first child who was then 10 years old.

“My lord, if the man could lay claim to our child, it then means he had been sleeping with my wife. This issue caused a strain in our relationship and it took the intervention of our family members before it could be ironed out. The man eventually handed off the issue, “he said.

“I no longer have a say in my home because Jelilat refused that I train our children.

“I once berated our first child for using bleaching cream and my wife got mad with me. He told me my second wife was also bleaching her skin.

“I again warned her against putting on trousers but her mother pointed my attention to the fact that her rival was also putting on trousers.

“My lord, Jelilat once slapped me. He accused me of supporting my friend in labeling our fourth child a thief. She refused to listen to all my explanations, and before I knew it she slapped me.

“I noticed that this child as young as she was regularly caused disharmony in the family which I frowned on.

“She was a talebearer and this often caused rancour in the family.

“I have corrected her to no avail, I therefore used the cane on her on one of the days she misbehaved.

“Jelilat got angry, ran towards me, collected the cane and threw it away.

“Angry and embarrassed, I pounced on her and beat her blue black.

“Jelilat to my chagrin went for the pot of water on the fire and poured the content on me. She would have peeled off my skin but for the trouser and tunic I was wearing.

“My lord, if I allow Jelilat to stay a minute longer under my roof, she will kill me. I no longer hold my children’s respect because their mother has poisoned their minds against me.

“I pray the court to dissolve our union, “he pleaded.

“My lord, I won’t accept that Ridwan send me out of his house after all I went through with him, “Jelilat stated.

“Ridwan was a nobody when we met. I stood by him, fed the family and trained our children in school.

“I once saved N200,000 and he offered to help me keep it. I handed the money over to him but he misplaced the trust I had in him when he failed to produce the money when I needed it.

“Ridwan took to maltreating me because I bore him only female children. He beat me to a pulp when I was pregnant with our fourth child. I was admitted in the hospital for a period of time, but he took to beating me again immediately I was discharged and went home.

“He insisted he didn’t want to set his eyes on me again and dragged me out of the bed where I laid recuperating. Peace was restored to our home only when our family members mediated in our crisis.

“Ridwan sowed a seed of discord in our home when he took a second wife.

“He neglects me and I have to kneel and beg him for our children’s feeding allowance always.

“He failed to give our first child a dime for her vocational training.

“His second wife never gave me rest of mind. She mocks me always and boasts that the house belongs to her and her son, but Ridwan never restrains her.

“My husband lied that I poured hot water on him. He was the one who almost pushed me into the fire I was using to do the cooking. I spilled the hot water I was carrying and it poured on him.

“My husband now dances to the tune of his second wife. She directed him to divide our house into two and he did.

“My lord, she fights me and my husband any time he spent the night with me and this she did even this morning before we came to court, “Jelilat explained.

Giving his judgment after he had heard both parties, the court president, Chief Ademola Odunade, stated that it was necessary that an end be brought to their union since it involved violence.

Odunda therefore dissolved their marriage and gave custody of their first two children to the plaintiff and the other three to the defendant.

Ridwan was asked to give the three children with the defendant N15,000 every month as feeding allowance and be responsible for their education and health care.

He also mandated Ridwan to give Jelilat N3,000 to pack her belongings from his house and pay one year rent of her new accommodation.

Both were advised to maintain peace.

 

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