Kenya: Lamu Politician, Wife in Divorce Court

19 September 2020

Lamu politician Rishad Hamid Ahmed wants shares of his company left out of a divorce case with his estranged wife Lilly Suleiman Sharbaid.

The politician says in an affidavit that the Kadhi's Court lacks jurisdiction to listen to matters touching on the company's shares as the same involves commercial transactions.

"The company shares are not part of the matrimonial property. The defendant shall raise a preliminary objection of the same before the hearing hereof," said Mr Ahmed in a defence filed at the Kadhi's court in Mombasa.

He has described as a sham the alleged marriage between him and Ms Suleiman and termed the same as illegitimate and unknown to the Islamic law.

Mr Ahmed accuses Ms Suleiman of misrepresenting facts that she was not in a subsisting marriage before they got married on March 3, 2015. He argues that Ms Suleiman is still married to a German national under the civil law of Germany.

"The defendant denies that he was legally married to the plaintiff. Without prejudice to the foregoing, the alleged marriage between us was a sham and not legally recognisable in Islam," he says.

Mr Ahmed has further informed the court that Ms Suleiman misled him into marrying her when she lied that she had divorced the German.

The politician further blames Ms Suleiman for their troubled marriage when she put him under surveillance and stopped him from travelling to attend to his business across the country.

"The marriage's ups and downs emanated from the irresponsible behaviour of the woman that were unbecoming of a Muslim woman and disrespectful to the defendant," says Mr Ahmed.

Explaining the troubled marriage, Mr Ahmed says Ms Suleiman physically abused him at one point. He reported the matter at Kileleshwa Police Station under OB 37/28/09/2017.

"The woman would always pressure me into divorcing my first wife, causing me emotional torture and tress," says the politician.

Due to the hostility in their house, Mr Ahmed says that at times he used to sleep in hotels as Ms Suleiman became very abusive.

He accuses Ms Suleiman of stealing his company's business documents from his office. He reported the same to Parklands Police Station under OB 46 02/04/2020.

The politician has been sued for neglect and desertion, where Ms Suleiman is accusing him of neglect and unfair treatment while married to him.

In her court documents, she accuses the politician of neglect and deserting the matrimonial home for more than a year.

She argues that the politician engaged in extra marital affairs, which caused her mental anguish and would always be away from their matrimonial home.

"He became irresponsible kind of husband. He neglected his marital responsibilities by failing to provide regular and adequate upkeep to his wife. This caused me to struggle harder in my business to cater for myself for almost everything despite the defendant also doing business of his own," says Ms Suleiman.

She claims that the man developed a habit of mistreating her, became abusive, hurt her and caused misunderstanding.

"The defendant has refused and or ignored to pay my dowry of Sh200,000," she says. She recalls that before, they used to live together happily as a couple and did their business together.

She says that the politician has in his custody personal property and shares in three companies against her will including two cars, and gold worth Sh3 million.

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