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Divorce drama unfolds as wife alters children’s surname to new husband’s


Divorce drama unfolds as wife alters children’s surname to new husband’s

A middle-aged man, Theophilius Obayan, has taken his wife, Chibuzor Lillian Obayan, to a Customary Court in Oke-Eda, Akure, seeking the dissolution of their 23-year-old marriage due to her attempt to change the paternity of their four children.

Obayan alleged that his estranged wife deliberately altered their children’s names to match her new husband’s surname.

He implored the court to dissolve his 23-year marriage with Chibuzor.

Obayan shared that their marriage was plagued by crises, abuse, disobedience, misunderstandings, lies, manipulation, hatred, and rage from the outset.

He stated, “I married Lilian in the year 2000, and we have four children. I am Yoruba, while my wife is Igbo. I have endured a lot of suffering at the hands of her family, who do not hold any affection for me.”

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“In 2019, Lilian moved out of my house with her belongings and relocated to another man’s residence. She then changed her name, as well as our children’s surname, to match the name of the Igbo man she’s now engaged to.”

Obayan further explained that he has been denied access to his children ever since his wife left their home. He asked the court to dissolve the marriage, grant him custody of his children, and restore his surname as theirs.

Lilian, in her defense, claimed that her former husband, Obayan, was “grossly irresponsible.”

She said, “My lord, life has been incredibly difficult for me during the years we were together.”

“Obayan took pleasure in mistreating and physically assaulting me, even to the point of causing fractures. He was neither a good husband nor a responsible father, neglecting to pay our children’s school fees or provide for their well-being.”

“He did not pay my dowry. Consequently, I found a man who was willing to marry me, and my new partner wishes for our children to carry his surname, rather than that of their irresponsible father.”

“Our children are now mature enough to decide for themselves, as they are no longer young children. My first two daughters, Mayomi and Damilola, are 22 and 20 years old respectively, while the boys, Ariyo and Aduragbemi, are 18 and 16 years old respectively.”

Lilian added that she has brought witnesses to court to determine whether a traditional marriage existed between her and the petitioner.

She urged the court to dissolve the union since Obayan never paid her dowry.

In his verdict, the court’s president, Mr. Olusegun Rotiba, encouraged both parties to seek peace and adjourned the matter until September 28, 2023, for continued proceedings, including oral arguments or possibly a judgment.

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