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23 Mar 2018

Court dissolves 30-year marriage as man accuses wife of demon possession

An Ikorodu Customary Court in Lagos on Friday dissolved a 30-year marriage between a civil servant, Virginia Ugwuja, and her husband, Emmanuel, a retired Police officer, over irreconcilable differences.

The 49-year-old petitioner told the court that her estranged husband, who is a pastor, accused her of being possessed by an evil spirit.

“Since he heard from the church that I possessed an evil spirit, he started denying me conjugal rights and abandoned me and our eight children, five years ago.

“He also gave the two houses we jointly owned to his church — The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Church, saying that the buildings belonged to God,’’ Virginia said.

The petitioner, who resides at Odun Ifa Street, Adeniji Adele, Lagos, had, in 2017, sought the dissolution of the marriage over allegations of abandonment, denial of conjugal rights and irresponsibility.

She accused the respondent’s church of being the originator of the problems in their marriage.

Virginia said that prophecies from the church accusing her of possessing an evil spirit were responsible to the disaffection between her and her husband.

In his response, the 54-year-old husband admitted the petitioner’s allegations and asked the court to dissolve the union.

Dissolving the marriage, the court president, Mrs. Funmi Adeola, said the union had broken down irretrievably, as evidence from the couple had proved that there was no more love in the union.

Adeola said the husband’s church contributed greatly to the breakdown of the marriage.

“It is obvious that there is no more love in the union, since evidence shows that the two houses built by the couple were donated to the church by the husband.

“Having left the house and accusing your wife of possessing an evil spirit, you are hereby ordered to pay your wife all the expenses she has spent on your eight children.

“The husband is to refund the children’s school fees of N400,000, hospital bills of N235,000, a feeding allowance of N350,000 and a house rent of N900,000, being the money spent by his family while he was away from home.

“You are also ordered to pay N20,000 monthly as feeding allowance for the last two children who are below age 18,’’ she ruled.

Adeola ordered the respondent to return one of the houses given to the church to his wife, as they were jointly built in their names.

She, however, ruled that any violation of the court order will be severely punished by the provision of the law.

“Anyone who is not satisfied with the ruling of this court is free to seek advice from a higher court within 30 days,’’ she said.

(NAN)

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