A Customary Court in Ekiti State on Wednesday dissolved a 32-year-old marriage between Oladipo Ogunleye and Adeola Falade over failure to pay dowry.
The President of the Court, Yemisi Ojo, dissolved the union, saying that it is evident that no marriage exists between the parties but a mere cohabitation.
She ordered both parties to go their separate ways as they stand unmarried.
”The petitioner is advised to build a cordial relationship with his five children. I advise the respondent to encourage all the children to spend holidays with their father in order to maintain the bond between the father and his children.
”The court orders the petitioner to be involved in his children’s lives by paying their school fees. Both parties are advised to maintain peace,” she said, adding that should any of the parties violate the order the wrath of the law would be meted out against such a person.
Earlier, the petitioner, Ogunleye, 61, and a mechanic, in his evidence stated that there was no marriage between him and the respondent but they have five children.
The petitioner told the court that while they were living together, he was fully responsible for the upkeep of the home and the children but since the respondent left with the children, he ceased to be responsible for their welfare.
Mr Ogunleye, however, prayed to the court for the dissolution of his association with the respondent and the same time, solicits for the custody of his fifth child.
Miss Falade, 48, a public servant, denied the allegations.
”My husband beats me and chases after me. He also threatens to send me out of his house,” she said.