A divorce court sitting in Ikorodu Lagos yesterday, dissolved an 8-month-old marriage between Mr. John Obah, 37, and his former wife Gift, 21, while granting her custody of their little six-month old son. John Obah was also mandated to pay the woman N5000 monthly for child support.
The divorce was granted on the grounds of physical abuse on the husband's part and the alleged constant harassment of husband by his wife's mother after such altercations.
John Obah, a trader, had approached the court asking to divorce his wife over allegations that his mother in-law always came with dangerous weapons to fight him each time they had misunderstanding. He also told the court that his wife did not sleep at home regularly as a house wife.
He said, “My wife often goes to her parents’ house and stay overnight for three times in a week. Anytime I have a misunderstanding with my wife, my mother in-law usually comes to fight me with dangerous weapons. I will be physically abused and my clothes torn by both of them; my mother in-law usually curses me that I will die like a fowl. Upon the incessant threat from my mother in-law, I changed the padlock to the house but they still came to burgle it. Anytime she demands for money and I don’t give it to her, her mother will come to insult me. Although our disputes were later settled by my father in-law but I don’t think I can cope with their continuous troublemaking.”
The estranged wife, and a mother of one, said her husband battered her so much that she usually runs to her parents’ house for safety.
She said, “He doesn’t even respect my parents and he has not been taking good care of me. I am no more interested in the marriage; I want to go back to school.”
The court’s President, Mr. Olu Adebiyi, in his judgment, granted the couple divorce and warned them to refrain from harassing and molesting each other.
He also said the petitioner should pay N5, 000 to the respondent for the monthly upkeep of their only six-month child and that the child should be in the custody of the mother. He also ordered the mother in-law to steer clear of the petitioner’s ways.
With a marriage of just 8 months, one may have expected the judge to hold off on granting the couple a divorce, and instead asked them to seek marriage counseling. But I must confess that I'm troubled by the young age of the wife, and the gap between her and the husband who it appears treats her like a child while at the same time beating her.
There's also and the fact that she was obviously pregnant when they got married, which points to a shotgun wedding that may have sprung from a casual affair where they did not properly study each other in preparation for marriage.
Anyway, the judge has ruled and now the poor child is the main victim of the mess. Because to be honest, is N5000 enough for child support when the mother is not working and wants to go to school too? Hmmm...