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Grade A Customary Court, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State has ruled on a divorce suit brought before it by a woman, Tawa Olayiwola, against her husband, Ganiyu Olayiwola on the grounds of irresponsibility, battery and theft by the latter.
Tawa, when the case was opened, stated that her husband as the breadwinner consistently shirked his responsibility towards her and their three children.
The plaintiff said she worked hard to ensure that the welfare of their children was well taken care of but that to her chagrin, the defendant took to stealing her hard earned money.
According to her, any time she complained about this shameful act, he would flare up, denying ever touching her money and beat her blue black.
She added that Ganiyu graduated from stealing her money to selling her property.
Tawa stated that she felt miserable living with Ganiyu because he succeeded in frustrating her.
This according to her spurred her decision to move out of his house, but that her husband has not ceased to disturb, harass, threaten and interfere with her private life.
She thus pleaded for an order of perpetual injunction restraining her husband from such.
Tawa pleaded for the custody of their three children and further sought for an order mandating the defendant to be fully responsible for their feeding, education and general welfare.
The plaintiff told the court, the defendant has not given their children more than N1,000 for food since they have both been living separately for the past six months.
She also entreated the court to rule that her husband returned her television set, DVD and handset which she said he unlawfully carried away.
Tawa further requested that the court asked that he refunded the house rent she paid on his behalf before moving out of his house.
Ganiyu admitted beating his wife, giving promiscuity by the latter as his reason.
The defendant explained that the plaintiff was in the habit of dating other men and returning home late on regular basis.
According to him, he took to beating her after he had pleaded with her to change and also counseled her on the repercussion of her promiscuous lifestyle.
Ganiyu told the court that he was ready to abide with whatever she wanted.
Tawa told the court: “I met my husband in 2003 and we got married in 2007. We held an introduction ceremony, but he didn’t pay my bride price.
“Ganiyu pretended to be a gentle man throughout the time we courted, but he started showing his true nature immediately we got married.
“My husband daily shunned his responsibility towards me and our children. He never gave us feeding allowance and was indifferent to our welfare.
“I took up the challenge and worked round the clock everyday to meet the family’s needs.
“I fed the home and paid the rent but my husband rather than appreciate me dealt with me ruthlessly. He would raise dust over trivial issues and beat me to a pulp.
“My husband is a thief. He was in the habit of stealing my money in the wardrobe and would deny doing so.
“He almost ruined my business and sent me begging to eat.
“My husband showed no remorse, but went further to sell my property.
“Ganiyu carried away from home the television set and DVD I bought with my hard-earned money and couldn’t explain what happened to them.
“I reported him at the police station after he stole my handset and he was arrested.
“He denied stealing it and was released, but I later saw the handset with him.
“My marriage to Ganiyu was void of happiness. He frustrated me which was the reason I moved out of his house.
“Ganiyu has failed to carry out his responsibility towards our children since I left him six months ago.
“The much he gave them in the six months we have been living separately was N1,000.
“He is also not bothered if they went to school or not.
“My lord, I pray that you dissolve our union and mandate my husband to be responsible for our children’s upkeep.
“I also entreat the court to rule that he returns my television set, DVD and handset.
“He promised to make a refund of the last rent I paid before I moved out of his house, but he reneged on his promise.
“I further plead with the court to retrieve my money from him and also restrain him from disturbing, harassing, threatening and interfering with my private life.”
Ganiyu, responding, said, “It is true I have not been giving our children feeding allowance since they left with their mother, because she refused that I have access to them.”
He added in his claim that: “Tawa is an adulterer. She started misbehaving because I didn’t pay her dowry.
“She had chains of lovers and was in the habit of returning home late every night.
“I pleaded with her to change and further counseled her on the repercussion of her illicit practice but she turned a deaf ear to me.
“I beat her because she pushed me to the wall.
“I invited our parents to mediate in our differences and they did, but she remained adamant.
“Tawa later packed out of my house and dragged me to court.
“My lord, I am ready to abide by all she wants, but I pray for the custody of the eldest of our children, she can have the other two with her.
“I am ready to give the two children with her N10,000 every month as feeding allowance and also meet with the demands of their education,” he concluded.
Giving her judgment after listening to both parties, the court president, Mrs S.M Akintayo, stated that both agreed to not conducting a customary marriage, there was therefore no marriage to be dissolved.
She added that the plaintiff left her home because she was frustrated and unhappy as a result of constant beating by the husband, a fact the defendant didn’t deny.
She further said that the interest of the children was paramount in the award of custody.
She thus granted the plaintiff custody of their second and third children since according to her, the defendant has agreed that she have them.
He was ordered to be responsible for their feeding.
Akintayo stated that their first child was old enough to choose who he wanted to stay with between both parents, but mandated both to be responsible for their children’s education and meet other needs.
She restrained the defendant from harassing and threatening the plaintiff.