7 December 2017

Nigeria: Housewife to Husband - 'My Pregnancy Isn't Yours'

Abeokuta — A Grade II Customary Court, in Ake, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, listened with amazement yesterday as a housewife bearing a seven-month pregnancy declared she would not give her husband the baby due from her pregnancy, "or else the baby will be drugged to death."

The housewife, Kudirat Babatunde, told the court the pregnancy did not belong to her divorce-seeking husband, Kamoru Babatunde, and nothing would make her give him the baby.

Babatunde is, in the suit number CV/232/2017, seeking to divorce his wife and mother of his four children on the grounds of threat to life and lack of care for their four children. The names of the children are Toheed 11; Yusuff 8; Quyum 6; and Segun 4. The seven-month pregnancy is expected to be the fifth child. But Kudirat is maintaining the pregnancy belongs to another man and not Babatunde and has vowed not to give him the expected baby.

In his submission before the court, Babatunde said that sometimes in June this year, Kudirat packed her belongings out of their apartment and all appeals to her by him, his in-laws and members of his family had failed.

He said, "Before she left, she was three months pregnant. And after she left, she was still coming to collect money from me. Since all appeals to her to come back had failed, I was advised to seek this divorce so that if she is no longer interested in the marriage, I should take my baby when she puts to bed."

Kudirat, in her defence, told the court that her husband was not caring. "He is beating me, beating me all the time. He will not provide money for the upkeep of the house. Yes, I got pregnant, but it is not for him. It was for my man-friend. At least, I should know who owns my pregnancy," she said.

But Kudirat's elder sister, Rukayat Sotunde, who appeared as witness, attested that Babatunde should be responsible for Kudirat's pregnancy.

The court president, Chief O.O. Akande, advised Kudirat not to take any untoward action about both her pregnancy and her marriage until the court delivered judgement on the matter. Chief Akande's partner on the bench, Mrs. H.I. Majekodunmi, also took time to caution her against drugging the child after she has been delivered of it.

Akande said the law does not allow determination of a divorce suit when a woman is still pregnant. "We have to wait till you have been delivered of the baby and after three months, any of the party can come for divorce. As all can see, this woman is an expectant mother.

"Therefore, we advise both parties to come back on March 7, 2018, Mr Babatunde, you have to wait till March next year to reopen this case," the court president declared.

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