An Islamic cleric, Alfa Bashiru Yekini has dragged her wife, Mariam Yekini to court seeking that it dissolves their four-year-old marriage.
Bashiru, in his claim, alleged that his wife was troublesome and in the habit of threatening and harassing him. He added that she denied him paternity of their only child whom she claimed belongs to her first husband.
The plaintiff further stated that the defendant broke into his house and carted away all his property.
Bashiru thus prayed the court to separate them, grant him custody of their child and mandate her to return all his property she went away with.
Mariam acceded to divorce but denied all the claims brought against her.
“As a cleric, my wife never ceased to embarrass me. She derived pleasure in fighting me. Any time we had a mild misunderstanding, she would shout on top of her voice, hold tight my cloth and push me all over the house. She would, at other times, threaten to deal with me while she once seized my phone for weeks.
“She not only fought me, she was in the habit of fighting our neighbours and disrupting the peace in our compound, “he said.
“Her father gave her hand to me in marriage; we had both the traditional and Islamic wedding. (He presented pictures of their wedding to the court). She was already pregnant with our child by the time we got married because we started making love shortly after his father introduced me to her.
“I registered her at a health center in Lagos where I was living and bought her some of the baby’s items. She went back to Ibadan and instead of staying with my family members, she went to her mother’s place and told her lies about me. Her mother, without asking me questions, took sides with her.
“She put to bed in February 2015 and we held the naming ceremony in the hospital. My father, other family members and her parents were present. My dad was handed over the baby’s placenta which he buried.
“She became withdrawn and refused to eat whatever meal was offered her by my sisters while still in the hospital. She ate only what was given her by her mother. She moved to her mother’s place instead of my family house after she was discharged from the hospital.
“We went our different ways in 2015 when it became obvious she was no longer interested in our marriage. T o my surprise, she and her mother came to my house in Lagos with a bus and carted away my belongings. They also went away with my late wife’s property.
“My lord, I pray this court to separate us and grant me custody of our only child who is old enough to attend Arabic school. I further pray the court to instruct her to bring back all she took away from my house, “he concluded.
Mariam, while giving her evidence, debunked all her husband had said.
“Alfa is not the father of my son, “Mariam told the court. The child belongs to my first husband, Olusegun Olalekan.
“I was carrying Segun Olalekan’s second child when my father married me off to Alfa Bashiru Yekini. My pregnancy was then three months old.
“I had my first child for him seven years ago. I became pregnant with our second child in April 2014. I told my father when he introduced alfa to me that I was carrying Segun’s second child, but he insisted I must leave him and marry alfa. He was never in support of my marriage to Segun because he’s a Christian.
“My father declined my request to have pregnancy test carried out and packed my belongings from Segun’s house while he was in Abuja where he works. He later took me to a river where he bathed me. According to him, it was a cleansing rite.
“There was no way I could reach Segun because my father seized my phone from me while my movement was restricted.
“Alfa and I held our introduction ceremony in July 2014 and our marriage ceremony in August 2014. I spent five months with Alfa Bashiru. I was with him from September 2014 till January 2015.
“I put to bed on February 4, 2015 and the naming ceremony was held in the hospital. It took some time before I was discharged because I had the baby through caesarian operation.
“Eight days after I put to bed, Segun came to the hospital in the morning with his parents and church members to name the baby. He named the baby Olamide Olalekan. I handed the placenta over to him for burial and he left for Abuja where he works the next day.
“Alfa came with his family members later in the day and named the child Abdulkareem. I left for my mum’s place after I was discharged, “she told the court.
The second defendant Segun Olalekan insisted that Mariam’s second child was his.
He stated thus:”My lord, I don’t know Alfa Bashiru except that he is laying claim to my son, Olamide Olalekan.
“I got married to Mariam through her mother in 2010 because her father refused to give me audience being a Christian. Mariam took me to her father’s friend whom she appealed to talk to her father on our behalf. He tried to, but met with a brick wall.
“I was again introduced to him during Mariam’s graduation ceremony after she learnt a vocation, but my presence infuriated him.
“My union with Mariam was blessed with two children, Victoria Olalekan who is seven years old and Olamide Olamilekan, three years and nine months.
“Mariam’s father cut the phone when he was informed of the birth of our first child.
“She registered at Naomi Hospital as Mrs Mariam Olalekan when she was pregnant with our second child. I received calls later in the year that my wife had packed her belongings from my house and that she had moved in with another man. She left with our three months old pregnancy.
“She avoided me throughout the time she was with her new husband. I didn’t set my eyes on her until December of 2014.
“I was informed of my son’s birth and I was present at the hospital with my family members to give him a name. I named him Olamide Olalekan. She handed over our child’s placenta to me for burial, “he stated.
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An eyewitness, Mrs Aminat Salawu, Bashiru’s elder sister, told the court her brother and Mariam had a proper wedding according to Islamic injunction and that they paid a dowry on her.
According to her, Mariam’s mother called her when she was about putting to bed at Oluyoro Hospital. She rushed there but got her transferred to Naomi Hospital when she was taking too long to put to bed and registered her there as Mrs Mariam Yekini. She added that she paid N70, 000 for her caesarian operation.
Aminat stated further that her brother and their parents named the child at the hospital and buried his placenta. He added that the family threw a party to celebrate the event.
Olusegu Olalekan’s parents, giving their evidence, told the court they paid Marian’s dowry to her mother because she was already carrying Segun’s pregnancy and her father had failed to give them attention.
The court president, Chief Ademola Odunade, calculating the months between the time Mariam got pregnant and put to bed as stated by both Bashiru and Olusegun arrived at nine months for the former and ten months for the latter.
Ademola asked Olusegun if he was ready to carry out a DNA test to prove ownership of the child and he declined. He told the court he would abide with whatever judgment that was given.
Ruling, Odunade dissolved the union between Bashiru and Mariam and granted custody of the child in question to Bashiru but ordered him to be in Bashiru’s mother’s care.
Odunade further mandated Mariam to return Bashiru’s property.
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