From JAMES UDOH, Ibadan
A retired soldier, Mr. Johnson Adebayo, 79, has prayed an Oyo State Customary Court sitting in Mapo, to dissolve his 44-year-old marriage, over alleged threat and conspiracy by his wife, Philomina, and children to take his life and inherit his property.
But, the woman has disputed the allegation, accusing her estranged husband of wanting her to vacate the house that, according to her, they built together.
Johnson, who resides at Oja’gbo told the court that his wife had been threatening his life, as well as planning with her children to take over his house.
“I want us to go separate ways because she has been threatening to take my life. We have five children. Our eldest son, Sunday, 42 years and his siblings have been taking their mother’s side. My lord, they are all ganging up to kill me to inherit my house”, he alleged.
Three of their children who were witnesses in the court, debunked the claim of the plaintiff. “It would be ridiculous for me and my siblings to kill our father. We all have our houses and his property is not our concern, whether he gives us or not, although it is our inheritance since it was built by him”, Sunday, the eldest son said.
The defendant denied the charges against her, alleging instead that she was maltreated by her estranged husband who, she also said, brought to the matrimonial home a concubine to live under the same roof. “He is only being disturbed by his conscience. What did he use the N400,000 that I gave him in 1972 for? I gave him the share of the proceeds I got from my parents’ property and it was the same money that he used to build the house. Now, he wants me to leave the house for him and his ‘small’ wife. I can’t”, said the Edo State woman.
In his judgment, the court president, Chief Henry Agbaje, severed the union and ordered the defendant to remain in the house.