Ile Tuntun Customary Court, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State, has adjourned a divorce suit brought before it by a man, Blessing Benjamin, against his wife, Ayodele Benjamin.
Blessing in his divorce suit accused his wife of abandoning and denying him access to their only child.
The plaintiff told the court that his wife’s desertion of him showed that she was no longer interested in him. She, thus, prayed the court to end their marriage.
Ayodele initially did not accede to divorce but she changed her mind after listening to her husband’s testimony.
Samson stated that, “I’m a teacher. I live in Ibadan but established a school at Ogunmakin. I stay in Ogunmakin from Monday to Friday and return to Ibadan at weekends.
“I made this known to my wife while we were dating and she didn’t show any objection to this.
“To my surprise, she became adamant and insisted she wasn’t going to stay at Ogunmakin with me. She insisted she would hold on to her job in Ibadan.
“Ayodele stated that Ogunmakin was a village and remote and as such she could not live there.
“I begged and appealed to my wife before she agreed to come to Ogunmakin with me. Being also a teacher, she joined me in the school but she ensured that I didn’t have peace of mind.
“Ayodele was full of complaints. She was always nagging. She saw nothing good in the environment we were living in while she despised the school I was running.
“We often had misunderstanding and we would end up fighting.
“My wife packed her belongings and left my house without a clue as to her whereabouts. I later learnt she was with her parents.
“Ayodele was pregnant with our child when she left and I heard nothing from her until November 11, 2020, when she called to inform me of the birth of our son.
“I went with a friend to check on her at the hospital in Ogun State. I asked for our child’s placenta and to my chagrin, she told me it had been buried by her father.
“My lord, to make matter worse, my wife and his parents conducted our child’s christening without my knowledge or consent. They went along to give him a name.
“I learnt at the hospital where she put to bed five days before she informed me.
“His parents refused that I see our son in the hospital. I heard him crying in the room where he was hidden.
“I left the hospital in anger. A few weeks after this, I received a call from the Welfare Office located in Ogun State Secretariat, asking that I show up in their office.
“At the office, Ayodele declared that she was no more interested in our marriage. I was therefore asked to make arrangement for our child’s care.
“I called Ayodele several times after this but she refused to pick my calls. She also refused that I have access to our child.
“I was asked to pay her hospital bill which was N177,000, but I refused. My lord, I refused because she did not take me along when she went to register at the hospital which is private. Neither was I the one who signed when caesarean operation was to be carried out on her.
“The Welfare officer requested that I give Ayodele N12, 000 every month as our son’s feeding allowance but I appealed to them that I could afford only N5, 000 due to the effect of Covid-19 on my school.
“I paid N15, 000 at a go to cover for the month of December 2020 and then January and February 2021.
“Despite this, Ayodele and her family members still deny me access to our child.
“My lord, our marriage ceased to be the moment Ayodele walked out of it. I beg this honourable court to officially end it and rule that I have access to our son any time it pleases me,” he pleaded.
“My lord, I initially refused to admit to divorce because I thought Blessing would show a sign of remorse but it is glaring from all the lies he told that he can never change.
“My lord, I have changed my mind. I, agree that you separate us,” Ayodele declared.
“I’m surprised that Blessing still had the guts to drag me to court despite the harrowing experience I had married to him.
“We have been married for one and a half years but lived together for only seven months before he threw my belongings out. He was the one who asked me to leave his house.
“Our plan when we were about getting married was that I would stay back in Ibadan where I work and that he would come home every weekend since he works outside Ibadan, Ogunmakin precisely.
“He told me he would soon establish another school in Ibadan which I would run, being a teacher, and I believed him.
“We got married on 26 December, 2019. A week after this, he demanded that I move to Ogunmakin with him.
“I initially refused, but he begged me and requested that I stayed there with him for only the first term. According to him, we would return to Ibadan at weekends and I reluctantly agreed.
“I resigned from my teaching job in Ibadan and moved to Ogunmakin with him. This happened to be the greatest mistake I have ever made in life.
“My lord, I got to Ogunmakin and realised that the place was a village and remote.
“I was expecting to see a big school like the one I resigned from but what I saw was a far cry from this. My husband and I lived in an uncompleted building with no doors or windows.
“On January 13, 2020, Blessing woke me up in the middle of the night, demanding to know why I had not got pregnant. He became rash and asked that I go to my parents’ to seek for solution.
“I moved to my parents’ house and was there for about two weeks but moved back to him after the issue was resolved.
“Since our income was low since the school was yielding little or nothing, I advised that we bake cakes and sell on Valentine Day. He agreed and I did. But unfortunately, we recorded a loss because we were only able to sell 10 cakes out of the 50 cakes I baked, the reason been that the people in this community are not exposed. They know nothing about Valentine’s Day. We both ate the remaining cakes.
“He bought the pregnancy test kit in February and it revealed that I was pregnant.
“I took ill in March and asked that he gave me money to register in the hospital instead of carrying out self medication but he refused. He beat me blue black and threw my belongings out again, but we were later reconciled.
“I advised him that we move back to Ibadan and hold lessons for pupils after schools were closed down due to the spread of Covid-19 but he refused. He insisted we hold lessons at Ogunmakin. We did but only two pupils attended.
“My lord, despite dying of hunger due to lack of fund, my husband still beat me. He didn’t care that I was pregnant.
“I reported him to his parents and they told me to look for something to sell in the market. According to my father in-law, he never gave my mother in-law feeding allowance.
“He again beat me to a pulp on August 10, 2020, threw my belongings out and locked the door behind me. He sent me away from his house with only my wrapper on me.
“I’ve been with my parents since then. I called him before and after I had our baby but he refused to pick my calls.
“My lord, he and his friend who is a policeman have been harassing me since then, “she concluded.
The court president, Chief Olasunkanmi Agbaje, after he had heard both parties, adjourned the case and asked that they come with their child and parents.