Court orders wife to pay estranged husband N10m compensation on disputed property

A Makurdi Upper Area Court on Wednesday ordered a housewife, Selumun Audu, to pay her estranged husband, Philip, N10m.

Delivering the judgment in Makurdi, Magistrate Rose Iyorshe ordered that Selumun should pay the amount in three installments from June to August.

NAN reports that Selumun had sued her husband Philip, before the Upper Area Court alleging that the respondent, shortly after their marriage in 2015, “started conducting himself in a manner incompatible to the lifestyle of the petitioner.”

Selumun told that the court that they got married in 2015 under the Tiv native laws and customs and the marriage had yet to produce children.

Iyorshe held that Selumun and Philip had agreed that the marriage had broken down irretrievably and there was no love between them.

“Both parties had also agreed that the petitioner acquired the land where a disputed estate was built even before they got married.

“The petitioner, however, has failed to show enough evidence that she has the financial capacity to built the estate under dispute.

“Without overflogging this issue, it is in evidence that the petitioner, as a civil servant, earns between N40,000 and N60,000 and in addition, she sells clothes and shoes.

“However, when considered alongside developing a five block structure within two years, how possible is this, except if, of course, she has other ways of earning money which are not stated in this case.

“In the light of the above, it cannot be denied that the respondent is a major contributor to the development of the block of flats on the land which belongs to the petitioner.

“Consequently, I enter judgment in this case as follows: the marriage between Selumum Audu and Philip is hereby dissolved and they cease to be husband and wife.

“The petitioner is to pay the respondent N10m as part of his contribution towards building the blocks of flat on her land during the subsistence of their relationship and eventual marriage,” the court ruled

NAN reports that Selumun had told the court during the hearing that she married Audu in 2015, but in 2017, the respondent became physically violent.

She urged the court to dissolve the customary marriage contracted in 2015 on the ground of incompatibility.

The petitioner also prayed the court to order the respondent to vacate the matrimonial home acquired and developed by the petitioner.

However, the respondent, who conceded to the divorce, told the court that he built the five-block estate on the land of the petitioner and called witnesses and tendered document to support his claims.



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