A housewife Serifat, has told a magistrate court in Oyo state, she wants her marriage dissolved.
According to Serifat who is a business woman: “My mother warned me to steer clear of my husband while we were courting because of his addiction to Indian hemp smoking, but I turned deaf ears to her counsel because I was in love.
“I went into marriage with him and the realisation of the situation I was into dawned on me when he started beating me. He also turned our house into a chimney and introduced our children to his smoking habit.”
Serifat, filed for divorce against her husband, Raimon Arise, a driver, alleging that he was irresponsible, and that he fought and beat her at every given opportunity.
“My husband never hid it from me from the time we were courting that he smokes Indian hemp. I wasn’t comfortable with this, but I was madly in love with him. When I complained, he promised to stop smoking immediately we got married.
“My mother warned me against marrying him from the outset, but I refused to see the reason with her. She thus left me to my fate. Rather than stop smoking when we got married, he grew worse,“ she stated.
“We were then living in his family house, he would sit outside the house and publicly smoke wraps of Indian hemp. I always felt embarrassed and ashamed whenever he did this. Any time I cautioned him or threw away the wraps, he would beat me even when I was pregnant.
“He was never interested in my survival; I fed and clothe our children, but any time we fought, he would tear my clothes into pieces.
“He was fond of ransacking the house and stealing my money. He went as far as stealing a substantial amount of money that I kept under the carpet, but he denied doing so.
“He also stole and sold my jewelry. Since our sons who were seven and five years respectively watched him smoke Indian hemp, they also took to smoking cigarette butts. I was shocked the day I caught them doing it.
“My husband also drinks alcohol and was fond of sending our children to buy sachet dry gin.
“I quarreled with him over this, but he failed to desist from the habit. His family members sent us out of the family house because of the embarrassment and disgrace my husband brought upon them as a result of his smoking habit,” she added.
“He’s not bothered about our children’s education; I enrolled them in a nursery school and was responsible for their school fees.
“I left his house in 2015 and took my children along. I took our children to my mum for proper care, but he went there in 2016 on the pretext that he wanted them to spend the Eid-.el-Kabir festival with him and never took them back to her.
“He took them to her mother. There, they have little or no care and have stopped schooling.
“My husband is a disgrace. I don’t want our children to toe his footstep.. I, therefore, pray that the court to separate us and give me the custody of our children,“ the plaintiff said.
The defendant agreed to divorce, but refused that she gets custody of the children.
“It’s true I smoke Indian hemp. The habit has become part of me. She knew this before we got married, Therefore, I, don’t know why she’s making an issue out of it. She lied about the children’s education. I pay their school fees regularly.”
Chief Ademola Odunade, having heard both sides asked if they had witnesses. Both had their mothers as witnesses while their children were also present in court.
The judge asked the children who are now eight and six years old if their father smokes Indian hemp and they answered ‘yes’.
Odunade adjourned the case till August 24 for judgment.