An Igando Customary Court in Lagos State on Tuesday dissolved a 33-year-old marriage between Tobias Udeze and wife, Chioma, on the grounds of infidelity, dishonesty and criminal tendencies.
The Court President, Adeniyi Koledoye, said it was sad the grandparents were unable to settle their differences.
Koledoye said: “The court finds it strange that the respondent left her matrimonial home for 10 years without her husband’s consent, which is enough to dissolve the union.
“The question is: Where was she throughout this period?
“However, the court has come to the conclusion that the marriage between the petitioner and the respondent has broken down beyond retrievable and as such the dissolution of the marriage succeeds.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the petitioner, Udeze, had approached the court on June 24, 2021 seeking for divorce from his wife on grounds of lack of love, dishonesty and adultery among others.
The petitioner, a clearing agent and resident of 3, Olanrewaju Bello Street, Igando, said that since their 33 years of marriage, his wife had not shown him any love despite having children for him.
He said: “As a result of her dishonesty, I consulted the elders who were always telling me to be patient with her.
“That’s why I still stayed for that long.
“I found out she was having extramarital affairs, which she denied.
“She also abandoned me with our children for 10 years.
“Our last born then was 10 years when she left without looking back.
“Sometime in 2008, I was asleep, around 2am, she left the house.
“And by 4am, police came to the house to whisk me and our first daughter away.
“When we got to the station, they called out two men in handcuffs to identify me, but they said I was not the culprit, that it was my wife.
“They beat me so much, saying I was an accomplice, but I had to keep pleading until I was later released.
“In all of this, my wife never showed up because she was scared of being locked up.
“I later learnt that she was into smuggling of goods.
“I am fed up of the marriage and I want the court to grant us a divorce.”
The respondent, a trader, in her own evidence said she was okay with the divorce as she was also fed up.
She said: “He has not been playing the role of a husband too.
“All my life, I have been struggling to take care of the home and my children.
“What he said about me smuggling goods is also a lie.
“It was my friend who got involved in church fraud.
“She collected money from someone for a job and when the person didn’t see the result, he brought the police to arrest her and when he did not see her, he came for him.
“He accused me of infidelity yet he sleeps with my younger sister.
“I am tired of the marriage long ago.
“So let him leave my house because I am the one that built the house we are staying.”
After much argument about who owned the property, the court president told the duo to approach a High Court to contest the ownership of the landed property.
“And if it belonged to the petitioner, he should pay the respondent the sum of N200,000 to enable her move out,” Koledoye said.