Embattled 30-year-old lawyer, Usman Ahmed, on Tuesday, filed an appeal challenging the decision of a lower court to divorce him from his 25-year-old wife, Zainab Abdulkadir, with a refund of only N60,000 dowry to him.
Ahmed had requested a refund of N400,000 dowry, which he later reduced to N350,000 as a condition for divorce when he appeared before a Jos Upper Area Court, where Zainab filed a suit seeking dissolution of the marriage.
However, the sole Judge of the Court, Justice Yahaya Mohammed, had granted the divorce between the couple and awarded N60,000 refund to Ahmed as dowry in line with an Islamic injunction.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Mohammed had on Friday ruled while dissolving the marriage between Ahmed and Zainab, that the union had “totally collapsed”.
This marriage has failed and is hereby dissolved; the plaintiff (Zainab) should therefore refund the N60,000 dowry the respondent (Ahmed) paid on her in 2015, ” he declared.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, Ahmed, through his counsel, Nazir Idoko, filed a notice of appeal before a Jos Sharia Court of Appeal. Ahmed claimed that he was not satisfied with the whole decision of the lower court.
The Judge erred in Law when he found that only dowry of N60,000 will be paid as compensation to the respondent/appellant as divorce claimed by the respondent/petitioner in her civil summons.
The judge erred in law when he failed to put into consideration of the law and argument proffered by the respondent/appellant counsel before arriving at his decision,” Ahmed said.
The aggrieved lawyer then prayed the Appellate Court to allow his appeal and set aside the decision of the lower court and order for payment of N350,000 as compensation for the divorce by the wife, Zainab.
He also prayed the Court to declare the divorce Certificate issued to Zainab as “null and void’’, having not satisfied the requirement of the law on divorce.
NAN reports that Zainab had approached the court for the dissolution of her marriage to the lawyer on the grounds that she had lost interest in the union and was no more in love with him.
Zainab, through her Counsel, Bala Bako, told the court that she was ready to refund the N60,000 dowry Ahmed paid on her. When the case was heard on April 4, 2017, Ahmed requested for N400,000 as dowry as a condition for the divorce.
Ahmed, through his Counsel, Idoko, had claimed that he was permitted by Islamic injunction not only to ask for the exact but more than the N60,000 dowry he paid as “it depends on the negotiation between the two families”.
He had alleged that his estranged wife had abandoned him when he was writing his final examinations at the Nigeria Law School, Bagauda in Kano, last August.
My lord, my client’s wife decided, on her own, to leave her matrimonial home while her husband was away to Law School writing his final examinations. That really traumatised him. He (husband) tried to reconcile with her to no avail; since she insists on leaving, she should refund N400,000 as dowry/compensation,’’ he argued.
But Bako, Zainab’s Counsel, in a counter argument, insisted that his client did not leave voluntarily. He said that she was forced to look for a way out when she realised that her husband had abandoned her and left her in psychological trauma.
Bako further said “the N60,000 dowry can be refunded in full, but anything above that is contrary to Islamic injunctions, especially since she does not have such money.
According to Islamic law, she will refund only what she can afford. My lord, the plaintiff can afford only N60,000 as refund to her husband; he made life unbearable for her during the marriage and should not stress her further,” he said.
Idoko had objected to Bako’s claims, arguing that the petitioner’s claim of being subjected to trauma was false. He said that the marriage was just about one year old when Zainab abandoned her husband. Idoko, however, agreed to lower the monetary demand from N400,000 to N350,000.
The judge, in his ruling, said that the marriage had clearly failed, and particularly pointed out that the two persons were no longer in love. NAN reports that the appellate court has not yet fixed a date for the hearing of Ahmed’s appeal filed on Tuesday.