A woman, Ayo Lukman, has brought a divorce suit against her husband, Sina Lukman, at Grade A Customary Court, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State, on the grounds of alleged irresponsibility, threat to life, destruction of property and blackmail.
Ayo told the court that Sina stopped her from working but refused to give her allowance for her upkeep.
She further said that her husband was in the habit of bringing different women home and would rain curses on her if she dare complained.
According to the plaintiff, she spent all the money her siblings gave her to start a trade to feed her family and that her husband later pulled down her shop.
Ayo pleaded with the court, if her prayer was answered, to grant her custody of their children, but make the defendant responsible for their upkeep. She emphasized feeding, education and health care.
She also implored the court to restrain the defendant from harassing, threatening and interfering with her private life.
Sina pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to him.
He told the court that Ayo was submissive and pleasant early in their marriage, but she suddenly changed and became uncontrollable.
He further stated that Ayo cultivated the habit of coming home late and was later given a car by her lover.
The respondent also said that he doubted the paternity of their children who never gave him respect.
Ayo, in her testimony, said, “My husband’s unfair dealings with me started from the outset of our marriage.
She said: “He stopped me from working stating that my shop was too far from home.
“I obeyed him as the head of the home and moved the wares in my shop home.
“We ended up feeding on the edibles among my stock because he hardly gave me money for food.
“I was at home for years doing nothing else than looking after our children.
“My siblings feeling concerned about my helpless state gave me a reasonable amount to start a business.
“I did, but the business did not thrive because I spent the proceeds from it to feed my husband, our children and my in-laws.
“My husband rather than show remorse for his irresponsible act became worse.
“Any time I challenged him to be up to his responsibility in the home, he would flare up, rain curses on me and call me unprintable names. He was always threatening me.
“His parents who were a witness to his misbehaviour always pleaded with me to be patient.
“I helped my husband to collect money from a micro finance bank with the agreement that he would finance my business with a percentage of it, but he derailed in his promise.
“We moved into our own house which has a spacious compound, but he refused to build a shop for me at the frontage to display my goods.
“My family members later bought me a grinding machine which I made a living from.
“My Lord, my husband did not only curse me but he was always cursed our children too.
“There is no rapport between him and our children.
“Our family members did all they could to resolve the differences between my husband and our children, but all their efforts failed.
“My husband is a flirt. He cared less about my feelings and insulted me by bringing home different women.
“He ordered me out of his house when I complained about his indecent lifestyle.
“Sina packed my belongings in a Ghana-Must-Go bag and threw me out.
“My father in-law mediated in our differences and he later allowed me to move back home.
“I knew no peace after moving back home because my husband kept harassing and threatening me with a knife.
“My husband in a bid to frustrate me blocked my shop with a storex tank thus debarring my customers from patronising me.
“He later demolished my shop and said he wanted to use the land it was erected on to build a mosque.
“He promised to pay for the demolition after we fought over his irrational behaviour, but failed to fulfill his promise.
“I got a new shop outside home and this was well stocked, but he stood on my neck and insisted I must return home every day by 5: 00pm.
“I flouted his order because that was the time my customers throng in to buy my goods.
“I told him there was no way I could pay the loan I collected from the bank to run my business If I close early.
“My husband locked me out on four different occasions for returning home late and I had to sleep with my relatives.
“My siblings angered by the way he was humiliating me, advised that I moved out of his house and I did.
“His relatives came begging that I went back to him. I did but he did not desist from stressing me.
“I finally walked out of our marriage and he started blackmailing me.
“My Lord, I am through with my husband. All I want is divorce.
“I entreat this honourable court to grant me custody of our children, but make my husband responsible for their upkeep. He must make their feeding, education and medical care his priority.
“I further plead with the court to restrain him from harassing, threatening and interfering with my private life.”
But Sina, in his evidence, said: “Ayo was good and hardworking early in our marriage and I did all in my power to make her happy.
“We never had differences since we got married until last year when she wanted to rent a shop and I didn’t have enough fund on me for the rent.
“My wife took laws in her hand after she rented the shop and began to return home late.
“She turned a deaf ear to my complaint and dare that I did my worst.
“I reported my wife to her aunt, but she gave her aunt excuses which to me were untenable.
“She once spent the night at her sibling’s place and I swore I would lock her out any time she came home late again.
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“My wife later packed out of my house and left with our children.
“My family members mediated in our differences, but she refused to return home three weeks after this. It took the intervention of her siblings before she came back home.
“Ayo stayed for a short while and then walked out of our marriage.
“I saw her with a car and I asked her sister where she got it from.
“Her sister not aware that she now has a car called her in my presence and put her phone on loudspeaker.
“Ayo to my surprise lied to her sister that I bought it for her.
“I later learnt that the car was given to her by her lover.
“My lord, I doubt our children’s paternity.
“They have no regard for me and do take decisions without my consent.”
The court president, Mrs S.M Akintayo, after listening to both parties, ordered that a DNA test be conducted at a certified government hospital and the result sent to the registrar of the court to ascertain the paternity of their children.
She thereafter adjourned the case.
On the adjourned date, the DNA result was read out it confirmed the defendant as the father of their children.
The court then adjourned the case for judgment.