Court dissolves businessman’s 6-year-old marriage on grounds of desertion

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Court dissolves businessman’s 6-year-old marriage on grounds of desertion

An FCT High Court, Jabi on Thursday dissolved a six-year-old union between a businessman, Opeoluwa Kumuyi and his wife, Susan, on ground that the marriage had broken down irretrievably due to desertion of the matrimonial home by Susan.

Justice Charles Agbaza held that the court was duty bound to dissolve any marriage that had broken down irretrievably.

The judge further said that the court found that two issues called for determination.

He said the first issue was whether the petitioner had proved her case to be entitled to the relief sought in her petition.

In addition, Agbaza said the second issue was whether the respondent had made a case to be entitled to the relief sought in his answer and cross- petition.

 According to the judge, Susan,  the petitioner gave evidence of catalogue of acts and conducts of the respondent such as verbal and physical abuse.

He said however, the petitioner did not lead any evidence in proof of her allegation and claims as desirable by the law.

He added that ” it is trite law that he who asserts must prove as the burden of proof rests on him”.

The judge therefore said since the respondent denied all the allegations and claims of the petitioner and neither was she able to collaborate her allegations with documentary evidence or credible witnesses, the first issue was resolved in favour of the respondent.

For issue two, which was a cross- petition by the respondent seeking dissolution of the marriage on ground of desertion of the matrimonial home by the petitioner.

The judge said the petitioner admitted leaving her matrimonial home since December 2015.

He therefore said ” from evidence of  cross petition, it is sufficient proof that the marriage between the parties have indeed broken down irretrievably.

“Having proven to the reasonable satisfaction of court of facts relied upon for the dissolution of marriage, this  cross-petition succeed.

“The marriage celebrated at Federal Marriage Registry Abuja on May 24, 2014 under the Marriage Act between Opeoluwa and Susan has broken down irretrievably.

“I hereby pronounce a decree Nisi, dissolving the marriage between the parties, the union between Opeoluwa and Susan is hereby dissolved.

” The said order shall become absolute after a period of three months from today”, the judge said.

In her petition dated May 31, 2016, Susan, who resides in Randle Avenue, Surulere, Lagos   through her counsel Jeremiah Idakwoji said that the respondent often abuse her verbally in the presence of his friends.

She further alleged physical abuse of shoving slapping and constant threat from the respondent which had made her life miserable.

She said he beat her up one time in the presence of her friend.

The respondent, Opeoluwa  of 100, Duke Street, Glasgow, UK, in his submission through his counsel A. Ibikunle-Awopetu in his cross- petition denied all the allegations and said Susan was disrespectful, bitter and had an unforgiving heart.

He alleged that on one occasion when she went for a party and returned at 2 a.m. and when he confronted her, she became confrontational.

He further submitted that Susan left their home in December 2015 and all efforts and pleadings made for her to return failed even from family members.