A 39-year-old retired airman, Richard Imana, on Wednesday prayed an Iyana-Ipaja Customary Court in Lagos State to dissolve his 10-year-old marriage over alleged abandonment and denial of access to his child by his wife.
Richard told the court that his wife, Nkem, left her matrimonial home and moved in with another man in the same barracks his family members were living in.
He alleged that Nkem moved in with the man when he was serving in Borno.
“My wife packed out of my apartment and moved in with another man while I was in Borno State.
“She abandoned me for another man. I resigned to take good care of the children because my wife does not take good care of them.
“Some time ago, I was very sick and our doctor needed my wife to sign some papers before he could start treatment but my wife refused.
“She denied me access to the children and took the last born to her mother without my consent,” the petitioner said.
The father of three, however, told the court that he still loved his wife.
“I still love my wife but my wife does not love me,” he said.
Responding, 34-year-old Nkem said she moved in with her married female friend who stayed opposite her apartment because her husband stopped sending feeding money to her and their children.
“I did not move in with another man. I only moved in with my married female friend because her husband was also serving in Borno at that time.
“I took my children to the village when all these were going on because their father stopped sending their feeding allowance.
“I packed my belongings out of annoyance because, at that time, my salary was N25, 000 and it was not enough to cater for myself and the children,” she submitted.
Nkem told the court that the marital problem was caused by a lack of communication by the petitioner.
She appealed to the court to save her marriage, saying that she still loved Richard.
“We do not communicate as husband and wife. That is why I am always angry.
“I still love him but he does not love me,” she told the court.
The President of the court, Prince Adewale Adegoke, reprimanded Nkem for packing out of her matrimonial home to live with her married female friend.
He ordered that the last child of the couple should be brought back to Lagos and reunited with his father.
Adegoke urged both parties to maintain peace and adjourned the case until December 15 for possible resolution.