A female pastor at the Rhema Pentecostal Church International, Sango-Ota area of Ogun State, Ijeoma Okoli, has pleaded with an Agege Customary Court, Lagos State, to dissolve her marriage as a result of domestic violence.
The 36-year-old woman had her 11-year-old marriage with her spouse, Ifeanyi Okoli, severed by the court as all efforts to reconcile them failed.
President of the court, Mrs. Ibironke Elabor, said she observed that the estranged couple were tired of the marriage and could no longer co-habit.
She said: “Since both parties consented to the dissolution of the marriage; this court has no choice but to dissolve the marriage.
The court hereby pronounces the marriage between Mrs. Ijeoma Okoli and Mr. Ifeanyi Okoli dissolved today, both parties henceforth cease to be husband and wife.”
Elabor gave the custody of the two children of the marriage to the petitioner and instructed the respondent to pay N20,000 monthly for their upkeep, education and other bills.
“Both parties are free to go their separate ways without any hindrance or molestation,” she added. Earlier, Ijeoma, a mother of two, who lives at Salako Street, Ogba, Lagos, told the court that she was fed up with her husband’s bad character.
She said: “My husband is aggressive, untrustworthy and troublesome. He failed to tell me that he is addicted to drugs which I later discovered after our traditional marriage in 2007.”
The petitioner told the court that her husband no longer love and care for her and was nonchalant about the welfare of their children. She added: “I want peace. I don’t want any problem in my life; the court should end our marriage as I do not love him anymore. As a result of the drugs, he has become very violent and he abuses me and the children by pouncing on us when he is angry; he may kill us one day if I do not end the marriage.
“I joined him in India in 2009 after I had our first child, when I got to India I realised that my husband is a drug addict.
The marriage is toxic, full of domestic violence, verbal abuses and threats to life.”
Ijeoma also said she had been separated from her husband since 2013, when she and her children returned to Nigeria from India.
She said: “I have been responsible for our children’s upkeep and I’m the one who pays their school fees. My husband is violent and I can no longer bear the pains; I do not want to lose my life. I pray the court to separate us so that I can live comfortably with my children.”
Ijeoma pleaded with the court to grant her the custody of their children and to help facilitate the return of the bride price Ifeanyi paid in accordance with their tradition. The petitioner’s husband, Ifeanyi, was not present in court but it was learnt he had earlier given his consent to the divorce.