I have endured my husband’s beatings and dehumanising acts for the past 26 years because of our children. I have also stayed in the marriage this long because I have vowed never to marry any other man aside him.

“But I am seeking a divorce today, because I don’t want to die as a result of his maltreatment and leave my children in another woman’s care.”

These were the words of Mrs Funmilayo Akinola, a fashion designer, at the Ile Tuntun Customary Court, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State.

Funmilayo had sued for divorce from his husband, Adedokun Adeojo, a night guard, at the Mapo Customary Court on the basis of constant battery and neglect of her and the children by her husband. She also prayed the court to grant her custody of their five children.

“My husband derives pleasure in beating me. We have been living like cat and dog for the twenty- six years we have been married. When we fight, aside punching me, he also bites me and these have left marks on me, Funmilayo said.

“My husband doesn’t know how my children and I eat while he’s also not bothered about their education. Our first born who is 24 years old is in the polytechnic at Saki while our last born, a nine-year-old is in the nursery school. He doesn’t know how all our children were enrolled in their different schools not to mention how their school fees are paid. I have here with me in court as evidence the receipts of their fees which I have taken upon myself to pay.

“I took ill in 2011 and after moving from one hospital to the other without any positive result, I resorted to visiting prayer houses.

“There, I was told that my problem emerged from where we were living and I was advised that we moved out of the place or else I would die.

“I told my husband this but he turned deaf ears to me. Since I wasn’t ready to die, my children and I packed our belongings and we moved out.

“My lord, from all indication, we are better off without him. I believe it’s better to be legally separated from him so that I can move on with life, she told the court.

The respondent refuted some of the allegations leveled against him by his wife and initially disagreed with her plea for divorce.

“My wife is stubborn, quarrelsome and rude. She does not take to instructions and does not take corrections. She flouts my orders at will. It is true I sometimes beat her when she misbehaves, he stated.

“She’s a habitual liar and all she had said about our children’s education are lies. I also contribute towards their education.

“Anytime we have disagreement or argue, she will flare up and slap me. There were times she hit me with broom and at other times, a ladle.

“I don’t agree with her prayer for divorce because I don’t have another wife now. I was actually surprised when I was served the court summon.

On a second thought, the defendant declared that she can leave if she wanted.

The court president, Chief Agbaje Olasunkanmi demanded to have the parents or relatives of the couple in court before judgment was given.

He, therefore, adjourned the case till March 2.


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