The 11-year-old marriage of a pastor at Rhema Pentecostal Church International in Sango-Ota area of Ogun state has hit the rocks as an Agege Customary Court in Lagos on Monday severed the union.
The marriage between the pastor, Ijeoma Okoli, and her husband, Ifeanyi Okoli, was dissolved over domestic violence.
The President of the court, Mrs. Ibironke Elabor said she observed that the estranged couple was tired of the marriage as all efforts aimed at reconciling them had failed.
“Since both parties consented to the dissolution of the marriage; this court has no choice but to dissolve the marriage.
“The court hereby pronounce the marriage between Mrs Ijeoma Okoli and Mr Ifeanyi Okoli dissolved today, both parties henceforth cease to be husband and wife,” she ruled.
The court president gave the custody of the two children of the marriage to the petitioner and instructed the respondent to pay N20,000 monthly for their upkeep, education and other bills.
“Both parties are free to go their separate ways without any hindrance or molestation.”
Earlier, Ijeoma, 36, a mother of two, who lives at Salako St., Ogba, Lagos told the court that she was fed up with her husband’s bad character.
“My husband is aggressive, untrustworthy and troublesome. “He failed to tell me that he is addicted to drugs which l later discovered after our traditional marriage in 2007,” she said.
The petitioner told the court that her husband no longer love and care for her, and was nonchalant about the welfare of their children.
“I want peace, l do not want any problem in my life, the court should end our marriage as I do not love him again.”
The petitioner, an indigene of Delta, described her husband as a drug addict, saying he has become aggressive towards her and the
“As a result of the drugs, he has become very violent and he abuses me and the children by pouncing on us when he is angry; he may kill us one day if I do not end the marriage.
“I joined him in India in 2009 after I had our first child, when I got to India I realized that my husband is a drug addict.
“The marriage is toxic full of domestic violence, verbal abuses and threats to life.”
Ijeoma also said she had been separated from her husband since 2013, when she and her children returned to Nigeria from India.
She added: “I have been responsible for our children’s upkeep and I am the one who pays their school fees.
“My husband is violent and l can no longer bear the pains; l do not want to lose my life.
“I pray the court to separate us so that I can live comfortably with my children.”
She pleaded with the court to grant her custody of their children and to help facilitate the return of the bride price Ifeanyi paid in accordance to their tradition.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the petitioner’s husband, Ifeanyi, did not appear in court but had given his consent for the dissolution of the marriage.