by James Sambo
Today’s episode of divorce court drama features a man who wants his marriage dissolved under the pretext of is wife packing out of the house, while the wife says they were never married in the first place.
The petitioner, Dennis Udepuu, brought his wife, Dorcas Udepuu, before a Makurdi Upper Area Court on Friday, 17 October, for refusing to live in their matrimonial home for over a decade.
He told the court that he married Dorcas in 1987 under the Native Laws and Customs of the Tiv people of Benue state, and the marriage was blessed with four children, adding that he did not believe there was still marriage between them.
He said, “I married Dorcas in 1987 under the Native Laws and Customs of the Tiv people while she was in form 2 and the marriage has irretrievably broken down. The marriage was blessed with four children. While in our marriage, I sent her to school and today she is a HND holder.
“Shortly before she packed out of our house in 2003, she became fetish and started keeping late nights before she eventually packed out of the house when I complained about it. I reported the issue to my mother-in-law who told me that I do not have money to take care of her daughter and warned me to stop monitoring her.”
“I can not continue to live like this forever, so, in 2007, I decided to remarry,” he added, begging the court to dissolve the marriage.
Responding to his allegations, the wife, Dorcas Udepuu, who is the Special Assistant to the state governor, Gabriel Suswam on Beautification, denied ever marrying the petitioner adding that they only cohabited for 16 years.
“Sometimes in 1987, Dennis took me to his house and made love to me. Thereafter, I refused to go back to my house again despite my parents’ insistence. My parents respected my decision and allowed me to cohabit with him. We were never married.” she said.
The Magistrate, Ibrahim Mohammed, in his ruling, said evidence showed that both parties were ready for the dissolution of the marriage.
“The husband sought divorce on the grounds of desertion, incompatibility and her refusal to take care of their children. Although the respondent, throughout the court’s proceedings, denied the existence of any marriage between herself and the petitioner arguing that they only cohabited for 16 years.”
“It is worthy to note that there was a valid and subsisting marriage that existed between both parties, however, the marriage is hereby dissolved as prayed by the petitioner,” he ruled.