‘ I took my wife to the US, but she refused to return with me to Nigeria’

An Ekiti High Court in Ido-Ekiti, Ekiti State has dissolved the 19-year-old marriage between Mr John Adeyemi and his wife, Oluwakemi, due to irreconcilable differences.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Justice Johnson Apuabi dissolved their marriage on the grounds of desertion, lack of affection and irreconcilable differences.

Apuabi, in his judgment stated that, “In line with the evidence given in proof and support of the petition for the dissolution of the marriage between the petitioner and respondent, the petitioner has satisfied the court of the conditions under Section 152(c) and (d) of the Matrimonial Causes Act.”

He said that the petitioner has given evidence of the “incredible insultive and provocative attitude of the respondent.”

The judge noted that it was a fact that the respondent had stopped communicating with the petitioner and refused to join him in Nigeria for cohabitation.

Apuabi said that the decision of the respondent to stay back in the United States of America (USA), has made both parties to live apart from November 17, 2020 to the time of presentation of the divorce petition.

It is obvious from the affidavit of admission of facts stated in the petition deposed to by the respondent that she was ready for the dissolution of the marriage between her and the petitioner,” he said.

Justice Apuabi, therefore, pronounced dissolution of the marriage between the petitioner and respondent.

He ruled that the “decree nisi” shall be made absolute at the expiration of three months subject to the provision of Section 57(1) (a) of the Matrimonial Causes Act and unless sufficient cause is shown to the court within the period why it should not be made absolute.

Apuabi awarded custody of the three children produced by the marriage who are 18, 16 and 10 years old respectively to the respondent since the petitioner had conceded custody of their children to her in his petition.

He ordered the respondent to allow the petitioner have unfettered access to their children either by phone or visit upon reasonable notice to the respondent in case of a proposed visit by the petitioner.

Apuabi ordered the petitioner to play his expected role in the education and welfare of the children, and contribute financially to their upkeep whenever the need arises.

Earlier, the petitioner, Mr John Adeyemi, told the court that the respondent, Oluwakemi was his wife.

Adeyemi said that they got married at the Cathedral Church of St. Philips, Ayetoro, Ile-Ife, on February 8, 2003.

He identified the certificate proving evidence of his marriage to the respondent which was tendered and admitted as Exibit P1.

The petitioner testified that he and the respondent lived together after their marriage from February 8, 2003 to April 16, 2019 before relocating to the United States of America.

According to him, they lived together in the USA from April 16, 2019 to November 16, 2020 after which the petitioner returned to Nigeria.

Adeyemi stated that he expected the respondent to join him later in Nigeria but refused, and that they have been living separately since then.

He said their marriage was blessed with three children, two males and one female.

The petitioner told the court that the respondent had always behaved in a provocative and unusual manner to him especially as relating to the matter of her relocating to Nigeria and that she has refused to communicate with him for one year.

He added that the respondent does not pick his calls and that there was possibility that the respondent has changed her phone lines.

The petitioner conceded custody for the children of the marriage to the respondent as they have been living with her in the United States of America.

He declared his readiness to play his fatherly role in the welfare and upbringing of their children.

At the close of evidence, counsel to the petitioner, Mr Rotimi Adabembe, drew the attention of the court to the affidavit of admission of facts stated in the petition which was deposed to by the respondent and sworn to in the registry of the court on June 14, 2022.

The counsel prayed the court to consider the evidence before it and the affidavit of admission of facts of the petition deposed to by the respondent and to grant the dissolution of their marriage.