A 32-year-old marriage which was devoid of the fruit of the womb was on Thursday dissolved by an Orile-Agege Customary Court in Lagos following a petition filed by 60-year-old Joshua Ajala who accused of witchcraft and abandonment.
Ajala urged the court to separate him from his wife, Dorcas and got his wish.
“Starting from today, you cease to be addressed as husband and wife,” the Court President, Mr Joseph Adewusi said in his ruling.
“The evidence before the court revealed that the union had broken down as a result of childlessness.
“You shall go your separate ways and maintain the peace anywhere you see yourselves,” he said.
Joshua, a building contractor, had on November 19 filed a suit before the court saying his 53-year-old wife, Dorcas, refused to give him children.
According to Joshua who lives at 18, Fashola Street, Orile-Agege, for three years after their marriage, his wife was not concerned about getting pregnant.
He said that when she later got pregnant in 1993, she ignored his advice to register in the hospital and later lost the pregnancy.
He added that his wife brought home some concoction, which both of them drank, and he had been unable to impregnate her since then.
“My wife told many people that I was impotent and this was what prompted me to have an extra-marital affair,” he said.
Joshua told the court in tears that when he suspected foul play, he went out to date another woman but the problem persisted.
“I went to the mountain to pray and after the prayers, I went to the other woman I was dating and successfully made love to her and she conceived.
“My wife only got to know about my extra-marital affair after the woman had given birth to a female child.
“She told me that if she had known, she would have killed the baby in the womb,” he said.
Joshua testified that he lost the child when she was seven years old and his wife, happy at the loss, dressed gorgeously to pay a condolence visit to the other woman.
“After the death of the child, I left the house for her until two years ago when she decided to leave.
“This woman is out to ruin me, I want the court to dissolve the marriage so that I can be free from her,” he said.
In her response,Dorcas, a trader, who lives at 4, Ajibode St., Ajuwon, told the court that she lived with her husband with a truthful heart but was repaid with evil.
“I tried all I could do to get pregnant after I lost the first pregnancy but the efforts proved abortive; I love my husband with passion.
“He stopped giving me money, yet I never abused him; he called me all manner of names and disgraced me in public.
“He left the house after the death of his child and I left a year after. I am married now and I am happy where I am,” she said.
Dorcas told the court that she was not a witch and was not responsible for the death of her husband’s daughter from the other woman, adding that she is happy they are officially separated now.