A 55-year-old fashion designer, Stephen Enebeli, told an Igando Customary Court in Lagos on Thursday that he would die if he gave money to his wife for the upkeep of the family.
Enebeli said this when he responded to a divorce petition by his wife, Eunice, alleging lack of care for his children.
“I stopped giving her money for feeding and school fees of our children when she started living with another man.
“In my tradition, if a woman marries another husband legally or illegally and the former husband still gives her money for the welfare of the children, he will die and I am not ready to die now,” he said.
The respondent said that his wife sent him packing from their matrimonial home and that he was presently squatting with friends.
“Eunice forced me out of her house because I always fight her for leaving the children at home and going to sleep with other men,” he said.
According to him, Eunice lacks respect for him just because she has more money.
He begged the court to grant him the custody of the children so that he could train them.
“I don’t want another man to father or train my children while I am alive,” he said.
Eunice had urged the court to terminate their 16-year-old marriage for lack of care.
“My husband is an irresponsible husband and father.
“While he was still living with me, he refused to pay house rent, feeding or school fees of the children, I shouldered all the responsibilities.
“I bought him a motorcycle in addition to his fashion designing work so that he could be supportive but he is just lazy and abandoned the motorcycle,” Eunice said.
The 36-year-old food vendor said that her husband was threatening to poison her.
“Stephen always tells me that he will kill me with poison if I make any attempt to divorce him and that he will marry another wife,” the petitioner alleged.
The mother of three pleaded with the court to end the marriage as she was longer in love with him.
Delivering judgment, the court President, Mr Akin Akinniyi, said that the petitioner was adamant on her request in spite of all mediation from the court and family.
“Since the petitioner insisted on divorce after several interventions, the court has no choice than to dissolve the union in spite of the fact that the husband still claims he loves his wife.
“The court pronounces the marriage between Mrs Eunice Enebeli and Mr Stephen Enebeli dissolved today, both parties henceforth cease to be husband and wife.
“Both parties are free to go their separate ways without any hindrances and molestation, the court wishes you well in your new journey.
“The custody of the children should remain with their mother,”Akinniyi ruled.