“My husband smokes Indian hemp like a chimney and when he is high, he beats me and destroys my property. Our children watch him smoke Indian hemp and they now practice what he does by rolling and igniting paper with matches and smoking it.
“I don’t want them to end up like their father. I thus plead with the court to terminate our relationship and grant me custody of our children so as to give them adequate care and attention.”
These were the words of Aminat Oni before Oja Oba,Mapo Court C Customary Court, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Aminat had told the court she was no longer interested in her 10-year-old marriage to her husband, Monsiru Oni who she alleged showed her and their children no care, affection or attention. She added that he was always beating her.
“My husband fights and beats me over insignificant issues. An amount as small as N10 can bring about an argument between us and he will end up beating me.
“He smokes Indian hemp like a chimney. When he is high, his eyes turn red and he turns the house upside down. I always end up becoming his victim.
“One of my concerns right now is that he has become a bad influence to our children who watch him when he smokes. They now role, light and smoke paper.
“Of recent he beat me because I took money in his pocket to grind pepper in order to prepare our meal. I abandoned the cooking and went back to my shop.
“He came to my shop and removed the florescent bulb I hung on the roof and hit me with it after beating me again.
“We both ignored each other for the remaining of the day. But the next day, I noticed he didn’t come home with his okada which he was using for commercial purpose.
“I later learnt it was taken from him because he failed to give the person he bought it from the weekly installment as he promised.
“My lord, my husband is presently swimming in debt because he keeps borrowing money from individuals and microfinance banks to do business but these kept going down the drain. I stopped standing as his guarantor because I have had cause to pay his debt.
“I explained all these to his mother when she came visiting but he fought me again for letting his mother to know about it,” the plaintiff told the court.
“My husband divided our bed into two with a marker and warned me never to lie beyond the line. Since the space he carved out for me on the bed was small and I found it uncomfortable sleeping there, I decided to start sleeping on the chair.
“He again refused that I slept there. The night that I insisted on sleeping on the chair, he tied a towel round my neck and would have strangled me if neighbours had not come to my rescue. Since then, I have been sleeping on the chair with an eye open.
“I’m tired of this kind of lifestyle, please dissolve our union, “Aminat prayed the court.
“I have never smoked Indian hemp in my whole life, “Monsuru told the court. What I smoke is tobacco leaves which is meant to cure pile.
“It’s true I beat her when we fight. I beat her because she doesn’t cease to frustrate me.
“She has no regard or respect for me and she humiliates me in the public.
“It’s also true that I’m in debt. My first okada was stolen before I was done with the payment of the weekly installment. I bought another one on credit. The sum of both is nearly N500, 000. I’m therefore paying for both on installment.
“The agreement was that I pay N14,000 weekly for the second one but I failed to do so on a particular week it was taken away from me.
“She knew what I was going through but she still kept making demands from me.
“My mum sent us food stuff but she still kept bothering me with money to prepare stew. I ended up beating her because she refused to be sympathetic with my predicament, “the defendant added.
“I drew a line of demarcation on our bed because she occupies a larger part when sleeping and pushes me to the wall.
“My lord , she lied that I wanted to strangle her. Why would I kill my wife and mother of my children?” the defendant asked.
Ruling after he had listened to the duo, the court president, Chief Ademola Odunade ordered their marriage terminated and awarded custody of their two children to the plaintiff.
The defendant was asked to pay N6,000 monthly as the children’s feeding allowance and be responsible for their education and health care.