by Isi Esene
Pauline Ukah, a 32-year-old woman, has dragged her husband, Charles Ukah before a Customary Court sitting in Alagbado for allegedly engaging in irresponsible behaviour.
She accused her husband of maltreating her and beating her at every available opportunity to do so.
Pauline, who is asking the court to dissolve their 9 year old marriage said, “Four days after our wedding, my husband started attacking me physically. For the next five years, I endured the pain, thinking he would begin to treat me as his true love. Even when my husband got a job, he still didn’t make any meaningful contribution to our upkeep.
“I had to obtain a loan to complete our house. I have been solely responsible for the upkeep of our children. Most of the time, I would go on commercial motorbike from Lagos Island where I work to Meiran. But rather than empathise with me, my husband would lock the door against me, thereby making me to enter the room through the window.
“Some time ago, when I was duped N5 million by some conmen, who wanted to help us obtain United States visa, my husband called me a prostitute. On that day, they asked us to put all our money and jewellery inside a box and we complied. But that was the last we heard of them,” Pauline told then court
She said that her husband was fond of charms.
“Till date, I don’t know why he buried his singlet in the house. When my husband was under some spiritual attacks and all he could see were reptiles, I stood by him. I took him to a hospital and footed the medical bills.”
Charles denied beating his wife and accused her of adultery.
He said he does not have any problem with her but the interference of his in-laws into their marital issues is putting a strain in the relationship.
He said, “Almost everything she said is true. She has been a caring wife and mother. But there is no cordial relationship with my in-laws. Since I lost my job, life has been tough.
“Contrary to her claim, I don’t beat her. We only have misunderstanding once in a while. Each time I intend to pick our children for holidays, her mother chases me with a cutlass.
“It is a taboo in my tribe for a woman who commits adultery to still sleep with her husband again. My wife once confessed to having slept with a man who wanted to help us obtain United States visa.
“It was at a family meeting that they ordered me to take our only son to our home town for cleansing and I did. If only my wife can cleanse herself, she can have our son back,” Charles told the court.
Pauline, however, disagrees saying, “My husband was given four days to take our son for cleansing in his home town. It is almost a month, but my husband has not brought him back. Now, I am agitated because the boy has always been in my custody. It’s been three years since we lived as a couple.
“I was told to cleanse myself if I was still interested in being his wife. Since my son has been cleansed, there shouldn’t be a problem. I have never fought him over any trivial issue. I always make my intentions known to him. God knows I am fed up; so, I want a divorce. He is free to see our three children whenever he wishes.”
President of the court, Mr. Olubode Sekoni, adjourned the matter till November 3.