On Tuesday, a 42-year-old teacher, Mrs. Imabong Akwaoku begged the Alimosho Customary Court in Lagos to break up her 20-year-old marriage over abandonment. The mother of three told the court that her husband, Patrick, left their home since 2006 and had refused to come back.
“My husband disappeared from the house 10 years ago to an unknown destination, he refused to either call or come home to see me and his children, she said.
She told the court that her husband ran away from home because of an alleged fraud in his office.
“When his company was to arrest him, he ran away from the house and abandoned us. When his company could not found him, I was arrested and detained so that my husband can come out of hiding. Despite this, my husband did not surface, it was my family that came to bail me,” she said.
The petitioner said that she and her children used to call her husband initially, but that he was always hostile and aggressive on the phone.
“Patrick was always shouting at us whenever we called; later, his phone numbers were no longer reachable. It’s been 10 years now; I don’t even know anything about him. When I contacted his uncle on phone, he told me that my husband was in Port-Harcourt,” she said.
Imabong said that she had been the one taking care of the children as Patrick’s family members did not show any concern.
“I have been the one responsible for the children’s school fees, feeding and rent. My husband’s family does not know if we exist; they cannot even recognise the children if they see them,” she said.
Imabong urged the court to dissolve the marriage, saying she was tired and no longer in love with her husband.
The President of the court, Alhaja S.O Mumuni, after listening to the petitioner, adjourned the case to September 26 for further hearing.