Court dissolves marriage over doubtful paternity

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An Igando Customary Court in Lagos State, on Tuesday, dissolved the marriage between Mr. Jose Salami and Mrs. Sola Jaiyeola on grounds of doubtful paternity of their only child.


The petitioner, Salami, who resides at No. 9, Bakare St., Igando, Lagos State, had told the court that he doubted the paternity of the only child produced by the union.


“In March 2013, she said she was a month pregnant for me; so, I arranged for traditional marriage to be done.


“But to my surprise, my wife put to bed in July of that same year, and when I asked how possible it was, she waved it aside.


“The paternity of the child became worrisome and I summoned her parents to intervene and ask her how possible it is to give birth within five months.


“Also, when the matter happened, she stopped cooking for me, and I was eating out, thinking she would change, but nothing happened,” he told the court.


Salami added that every form of sexual interaction stopped between the two.


“Communication also seized, if she wanted to tell me anything, she would write it on paper and put it on a table for me to see.


“In the year 2016, I came home and found out she had moved out with our only daughter, and all efforts to make her come back proved abortive.


“She switched off her phones and blocked all communications with me,” he said.


The petitioner said that later, she told him to move on with his life as she was no longer interested in the marriage.


He urged the court to dissolve the marriage, saying that he was approaching 50 years of age and needed to move on.


In his judgment, the President of the court, Mr. Adeniyi Koledoye, said that it appeared the love between the couple had since perished.


He noted that the respondent did not show up in court in spite of several summonses.


“There is no doubt that the respondent was in another relationship from which she was pregnant, and perhaps the pregnancy was rejected and she decided to hang it on the petitioner.


“However, the petitioner ought to have opted out of the marriage immediately after he discovered that the paternity of the child was doubtful.


“It is clear the petitioner was deceived into the marriage by the respondent,” he held.


Koledoye, therefore, dissolved the marriage.


He ordered the respondent to pay N200,000 to the petitioner.

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