A Makurdi Upper Area Court in Benue State has dissolved the eight-year-old marriage between Nelson Ebiem and Nneka over irreconcilable differences and unholy behaviour.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Nneka had dragged her husband to court over alleged cruelty, unholy behaviour, threats to life and refusal to collect refund of bride price.
The presiding officer, Ibrahim Mohammed, in his judgement, said that both parties agreed to dissolve the marriage.
“The petitioner sought divorce on the grounds of cruelty, threat to life and refund of bride price. Any custom that seeks to remove divorce and refund of bride price from the court is an aberration. That custom is an affront to the court created by the constitution and other enabling laws of this country".
“Such custom should not be allowed to exist in this 21st century. Such custom must be moderated to be in conformity with the constitution and other laws of this country,” the judge said.
Mohammed, however, ordered the petitioner to refund N20, 000 being the bride price paid on her in 2008 to the court registrar.
Earlier, Nneka had told the court that both of them were incompatible. “I married Nelson in 2008 under the Native Laws and Customs of the Arochukwu people and the marriage has irretrievably broken down. I do not want to marry him again because he beats me a lot. He usually strips me naked".
“He beats me regularly and throws my things out of his house. He has the habit of insulting me publicly, threatens to kill me and disgrace me at will. “Due to the threats to my life, I travel every month to the village to stay with my husband’s elder brother,” she told the court.
The petitioner prayed the court to dissolve the marriage on grounds of cruelty, unholy behaviour and threats to life.