Decisions – Abeokuta Customary Courts

The following are summaries of some of the cases that were heard before the Ake Customary Court and Lafenwa Customary Court, Abeokuta, Ogun State:

Monsurat Jimoh v Ganiyu Jimoh
File No. CV/127/2013
Court: Ake Customary Court, Abeokuta, Ogun State. Nigeria.
Date: February 21, 2013

Monsurat Jimoh, a 21 year old woman is asking that the court grant the dissolution of her marriage to Ganiyu Jimoh a 28 year old man. They have 3 children between them. Her reason for the dissolution is that Ganiyu did not show any interest in caring for and supporting her and her children. She stated that her husband Ganiyu was very quarrelsome especially when she asked for his contributions to the upkeep of the children citing several examples of abuse and beatings from him. The plaintiff informed the court that Ganiyu originally did not pay any dowry to her family when they first got married. It was not until members of her extended family insisted he had to pay during one of the instances when they were intervening in their quarrels that he paid.
The plaintiff brought two witnesses to testify. The witnesses were Monsurat’s Uncle and Sister. Monsurat’s uncle confirmed that he and some other elders in her family had on several occasions intervened and tried to mediate in their quarrels but it seemed that these did not resolve the problem. He confirmed that Ganiyu did not show any care for his niece Monsurat and was abusive towards her. The second witness was the plaintiff’s sister who confirmed that Ganiyu was mandated to pay the dowry for her sister after they got married on one of the occasions when the elders were trying to intervene in the quarrels. She stated that she had been invited about 4 times to settle quarrels between the plaintiff and the defendant.
The court granted the dissolution of the marriage and asked that they have joint custody over the children; the defendant was asked to pay monthly welfare allowance for each of the three children.

Kemi Peters v Tunde Peters
File No. C/248/2013
Court: Ake Customary Court, Abeokuta, Ogun State. Nigeria.
Date: February 21, 2013

Kemi Peters is asking the court to grant the dissolution of marriage between her Mr. Tunde
Peters. Kemi complained that Mr. Peters has continued to threaten her life. They both have a 6 year old child. Mr. Peters told the court that Kemi had the habit of partying excessively as a result of which she neglected her duties as a wife and mother.
Mr. Peters when asked by the court about the nature of the relationship between him and Kemi responded that there was no legal union or customary marriage between them. He made lengthy explained that he had committed a lot financially to the relationship.
He also claimed that there were a lot of fabricated lies in Kemi’s story.
The court in making their decision considered the relationship between the two parties as a friendship; the relationship was set aside by the court and the parties were advised to go in their separate ways. Custody of the six year old child was granted to Kemi and Tunde was asked to pay a monthly allowance of an amount to be decided by the court.

Funlayo Sosanya v Akinola Sosanya
File No. C/249/2013
Court: Ake Customary Court, Abeokuta, Ogun State. Nigeria.
Date: February 21, 2013

Mulikat Adedeji is the second wife of Kehinde Adedeji. She is asking for divorce from a polygamous marriage and complained of excessive beating from Kehinde. They have been living together for fourteen years and have three children. Two of the children are currently residing with Kehinde while the last one lives with Mulikat.
Mulikat is asking for the custody asked of the last child as she is still too young to take care of herself. Kehinde Adedeji was absent from this hearing and previous ones despite being served court notices more than three times.
The customary court judges dissolved the marriage and granted Mulikat custody of the last child. Kehinde is to pay 4000 naira monthly to Mulikat for the upkeep of the last child. She was also granted access to see the older children living with Kehinde in peaceful and agreed terms.
This judgment is to be served to defendant by hand or mail.

Funke Ogundiran v Niyi Ogundiran
File No. C/110/2013
Court: Ake Customary Court
Date: February 22, 2013

Both parties were married according to customary tradition for seven years. Funke Ogundiran claimed that Niyi did not show any interest in the upkeep and welfare of her child and herself. She is asking the court to dissolve the marriage and grant her custody of their five year old child who is currently residing with her.
Funke informed the court that they have been separated since early 2011. In his own statement Niyi informed the court that he was no longer interested in the relationship.
The court dissolved the marriage and granted custody of the five year old child to Funke, they also granted free access to the child to Niyi. Both Niyi and Funke are to be responsible for the payment of the school fees for the five year old child until she completes her education.

Miss Yetunde Oluwayomi
File No. LAF/34/13
Court: Lafenwa Customary Court
Date: February 22, 2013

This matter was brought before the court by the caretaker of the property on behalf of the landlord. Miss Yetunde Oluwayomi lived in a two bedroom rented apartment with one of her siblings. The caretaker is asking her to vacate the property because the landlord is not happy with her style of living. The landlord lived in the same building and complained that she was always receiving visitors till very late at night.
Miss Oluwayomi claimed she was not given a quit notice but the caretaker gave her a verbal notice in December 2012.
The court ordered her to vacate the apartment by the end of March 2013 and pay any outstanding rents.