A 39-year-old petty trader, Yemisi, on Friday pleaded with an Agege Customary Court in Lagos to end her 20-year-old loveless marriage to free herself from the pangs of daily corporal punishment meted out to her by her husband.
“My husband constantly beats me and whenever he wants to do so, he tells me to kneel down and stretch my hands like a pupil before caning me. He often threatened to kill me,” she told the court.
Testifying before Phillips Williams, the court’s President, she said there was no love lost between them again.
Yemisi described her husband of 20 years as an irresponsible man, who has refused to take proper care of her and their children.
She said she had been solely responsible for the feeding and upkeep of their children since her husband lost his job.
“I made effort to secure a loan for my husband from a cooperative bank to start a small business with a promise by him to pay back in installments.
But after a few months, he refused to pay and attempt to get him to refund the money was unsuccessful.
My husband started threatening to kill me and dispose of my corpse without anybody knowing.
I am fed up with the marriage; there is no love between us again. I can no longer bear the pains and humiliations,” she said.
She, therefore, urged the court to dissolve the marriage and to compel the respondent to be responsible for the welfare and education of the children.
The respondent, Wasiu, 49, however, denied the allegations and pleaded with the court not to dissolve the marriage.
According to him, his wife started misbehaving and became promiscuous the moment he lost his job.
Wasiu, who claimed to have caught her in the act of adultery, said:
My wife later told me that she was fed up with the union and she moved out of the house with the children sometime in 2015.
However, after much pleading, she returned home later in 2016 only to start engaging in adultery; I have caught her on several occasions.
My wife stopped cooking for me since July 2016 and finally moved out of the house.
The respondent said he made efforts and begged his wife to return, especially for the sake of their children, but she remained adamant.
The president of the court invited the estranged couple to his chambers for a possible resolution of the crisis.
He adjourned the case to April 11 for further hearing.