An Igando Customary Court in Lagos state on Tuesday dissolved a 33-year-old marriage between Tobias Udeze and his wife Chioma on charges of infidelity, dishonesty and criminal tendencies.
The court president, Adeniyi Koledoye, said it was sad that the grandparents could not resolve their differences.
Koledoye said: “The court finds it strange that the defendant left her marital home for 10 years without her husband’s consent, which is sufficient to dissolve the marriage.
“The question is: where was she during that time?
“However, the court has come to the conclusion that the marriage between the applicant and the respondent has irretrievably broken down and that the marriage can therefore be dissolved.”
Journalists report that on June 24, 2021, the petitioner Udeze addressed the court to seek a divorce from his wife on grounds of lack of love, dishonesty and adultery, among other things.
The petitioner, a clearing agent and residing at 3 Olanrewaju Bello Street, Igando, said that his wife has not shown him love for 33 years of marriage, although she has children for him.
He said: “Because of her dishonesty, I have sought advice from the elders, who have always told me to be patient with her.
“That’s why I stayed so long anyway.
“I found out she was having extramarital affairs, which she denied.
“She also left me alone with our children for 10 years.
“Our last birth was 10 years old then when she left without looking back.
“Sometime in 2008 while I was sleeping, around 2 a.m., she left the house.
“And at 4am the police came to the house to take me and our first daughter away.
“When we got to the train station, they called two men in handcuffs to identify me, but they said I wasn’t the culprit, it was my wife.
“They beat me so bad and said 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 afraid of being locked up.
“I found out later that she was smuggling goods.
“I’m sick of marriage and I want the court to divorce us.”
The defendant, a trader, said in her own statements that she agreed to the divorce because she was fed up too.
She said: “He didn’t play the role of a husband either.
“All my life I have struggled to take care of the house and my children.
“What he said about smuggling goods is also a lie.
“It was my friend who was involved in church fraud.
“She was collecting money from someone for a job and when the person didn’t see the result he called the police to arrest them and when he didn’t see them he came to him.
“He has accused me of infidelity, but he sleeps with my younger sister.
“I’ve had enough of marriage for a long time.
“So let him leave my house because I’m the one who built the house we live in.”
After much argument over who owned the property, the court president asked the duo to go to a high court to challenge ownership of the property.
“And if it belonged to the petitioner, he should pay the defendant the sum of N200,000 to move out,” Koledoye said.