• When I was 12 years old, my husband came to my village to ask for my hand in marriage. He also lied to my parents that he was a businessman, that he owned a provision store and that he lived in a flat. —Wife
A trader, Margaret Agwu has told an Igando Customary Court, Lagos, that her husband, Onu, deceived her and her parents and paid just N600 as her bride price when she was still 12 years old. She also said that sometimes he strips her naked and beats her to pulp.
Margret, who made this known when she testified in a divorce proceedings against Onu, told the court that her husband had turned her into a punching bag.
“He once punched me in my stomach and I lost my first pregnancy after a fight. I have lived every minute of my life in fear but I cannot go back to my parentsbecause of the bride price,” she said.
Margaret, 45, had urged the court to annul her 33-year-old marriage citing husband’s duplicity.
“When I was 12 years old, my husband came to my village to ask for my hand in “He also lied to my parents that he is a businessman that he owned a provision store and that he lived in a flat.
“My parents told him that they cannot release me for marriage because I was too young and besides I was still schooling.
“Onu told my parents that he will send me to school after the marriage, my parent agreed and he paid the bride price,” she said.
Margaret regretted that on getting to the city, she discovered that her husband was not what he made her and her parents believe he was.
“When I got to his house, I discovered that he was staying in one-room apartment, selling popcorn at the roadside.
“He also refused to fulfill his promise of sending me to school,” she said.
The petitioner said that she would not have reminded herself of the husband’s deceit but because he had turned out to be a brute, who beats her at the slightest provocation.
Margret also accused her husband of absconding with all their five children 16 years ago.
“When I called him after he packed out, he just told me that he was no longer interested in the marriage and since then he refused to pick my calls.
“His relations told me he relocated with the children to Port-Harcourt. It is 16 years now that I have not seen nor heard from them.
“I heard that my husband gave our first daughter’s hand in marriage without my knowledge and that she had given birth to a son,” she said.
Margaret urged the court to help her to return the N600 bride price paid by her husband and dissolve the marriage, saying “I am no longer in love and I want to move on with my life.”
When an official of the court called Onu on telephone, he said that the petitioner was no longer his wife.
In his judgment, the President of the court, Mr Adegboyega Omilola, said that it was obvious that the marriage had hit the rocks.
“Throughout the duration of this case, the respondent refused to honour court summons, therefore, the court has no other choice than to dissolve the union.
“The marriage between Margaret Agwu and Onu Agwu is hereby dissolved from today, both parties are no longer husband and wife.
“Both are free to go their separate ways without any hindrances and molestation,” he said.