From Fasusi Martins, Okitipupa
An Okitipupa magistrates has dissolved a 25-year-old marriage between Mr. Johnson Epoto and Mrs. Funmilayo Epoto, on the grounds of cruelty and ill-treatment.
In a civil summons filed on November 9, 2018, the 50-year-old petitioner, Mrs, Funmilayo Epoto claimed that her estranged husband, Mr. Johnson Epoto always beat her even without provocation despite the fact that God blessed them with five children.
The petitioner took time to explain to the court that she had made series of efforts to make peace with her husband to the extent of reporting him to the family members, but all to no avail.
Aggrieved and dissatisfied with the above, she was of the opinion that she needed separation from the respondent.
She equally prayed the court to grant her parental rights over the children because she is their biological mother.
Funmilayo, however, requested for the custody of her last child, Jonathan Epoto who is still a minor .
The respondent couldnot counter the claims, despite the opportunity to him, as he absented himself throughout the hearing.
In his judgement, the presiding magistrate, Adedeji O. Adebisi said it is obvious that the marriage has failed and broken down irretrievably and not granting the petitioner’s prayer may lead to further exceptional hardship and depravity.
According to him,” there cannot be a valid complaint that the respondent’s right to fair hearing was breached. It is trite law that the court must hear the parties. But the court is not a slave of time that it must wait indefinitely for a party to decide when to come to present his case to delay the hearing of a case deliberately is an abuse of court process which in turn defeats justice. “
Adedeji, however, dissolved the marriage and ordered the petitioner to refund the sum of #2, 500 as dowry to the respondent through the court.
The petitioner shall also be allowed to pack her things out of the respondent house without any hindrance” the court ruled.