My wife slaps, fights me; she and our children got me locked behind bars, pastor-husband tells court

•He denied me sex for months, caught his niece rubbing his back in our room —Wife

A pastor, Monday John has dragged his wife, Yemisi John before the Oja Oba/ Mapo Court C Customary Court, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State, seeking that it dissolves their 28-year-old marriage on the grounds of disregard and maltreatment by the latter and their children.

Yemisi when the claim was read to her, did not accede to it.

“My lord, my wife never loved me, I’m the one who loved her. I thought she would gradually develop affection for me as time went on but this wasn’t so.

“Our marriage had been going through crisis which reached its climax on last year’s Christmas Day.

“I bought pepper on my way from church and handed it over to one of our children to grind. She ignored me and stayed glued to her handset. I, therefore, went to grind it myself.

“I instructed our daughter to boil the pepper in order to preserve it from getting spoilt and she again ignored me. Despite being humiliated, I still went ahead to cook the pepper while she kept playing games on her phone.

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“Angry, I seized the handset from her. My wife, rather than chastise our daughter, took sides with her. She demanded for the sim in the phone which she claimed was hers. I gave her this and she came back demanding to have the phone. I refused to give her and she rough handled my cloth and fought me.

“She slaps and fights me anytime I correct our children for dressing indecently or committing an offence. I vowed that day to beat her to a state of coma.

“I slapped her and she tore my clothes. She hit me with a rod and threw dangerous objects at me.

“She called her children on phone informing them that I almost killed her. They all rushed home; our first child gripped me, took the phone from me and handed it over to their mother. Our second child, a female, asked me to shut up while I was trying to explain what transpired between me, my second daughter and my wife to neighbours.

“I left home in anger and was met with an empty house when I returned. My wife and the children have moved out with some of their belongings.

“Our children returned home after some few weeks and again fought me. They threatened to stab me with a knife and went to report me at the police station that I was chasing them with a cutlass.

“I was arrested and locked behind bars for two days. It was our neighbours who came for my bail. Since my wife was always threatening to destroy me, I told her after I was released, the battle line was drawn, “Monday stated.

“My wife and children reported me at Welfare office and I was invited. After hearing the side of my story, they were asked to apologise to me. They did but I refused to take their plea. I told them it was an irresponsible father that was dragged to the Welfare office. I feed my family and send our children to school. Before leaving the office, I made a monthly commitment of N18, 000 as feeding allowance for our last two children.

“I was also reported and invited at the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Nigeria Civil Defense office but I declined their invitation.

“Till date our children don’t greet me, “he said.

“I don’t agree to divorce, “Yemisi told the court.

“Our home had always been a peaceful one while Monday was a loving father to us but all these changed when he brought his late brother’s children to live with us. The attention he gave our children drastically reduced while he took to accusing them of his nephews and nieces’ misdeeds.

“He once falsely accused our son of not greeting him; he flogged and almost killed him.

“He used to buy foodstuff and other needs for the home while I and our children did the cooking. But he suddenly changed and would divide the items into two and cook his food himself.

“Any time his nephews and nieces steal, he would accuse our children. He didn’t stop doing this until one of his nephews was dragged home by his school teachers after a large sum was found on him. One of them also stole a large amount of money kept in my care.

“The children misbehave and are always rude to me, “the defendant told the court.

“He said he wanted to seek God’s face and thereby denied me sex for months. He once did this in the past and I reported him to his superior in church who chastised him.

“During his abstinence, I caught his niece rubbing his back in our room. I rebuked her and she apologised to me.

“My lord, he brought home the pepper he mentioned late and I instructed our children to grind it the following day.

“He ran after me, slapped and pushed me to the wall when our son took the phone from him.

“He called my siblings and threatened to kill me. My sister rushed to our house and met him grabbing my neck. She knelt and appealed to him to let me go.

“I ran out of the house after he released me and slept in my shop for days.

“Our issue got to the state Ministry of Women Affairs and I was given accommodation at the Motherless Babies Home. He was invited by the ministry but he refused to acknowledge their invitation.

“It was our neighbours who got him arrested by the police for constituting himself a nuisance in our compound and not our children. He was locked up late in the evening and released the next morning. It was our son and not our neighbours who got his bail.

“Our children ran away from home when he threatened that the battle line was drawn but later returned.

“At the welfare Office, he insisted on giving our last two children feeding allowance only when the three elderly ones had left home and they did, “she concluded.

Giving his judgment, the court president, Chief Ademola Odunade observed that their marriage had broken down irrevocably. Ruling, he dissolved their union and granted custody of their last two children to the defendant.

The plaintiff was asked to pay N10, 000 monthly through the court for their feeding. Others, according to him, can stay with either of the parents.