Zainab Ahmed, a middle aged woman has dragged her husband to a Sharia Court II at Magajin Gari, Kaduna seeking for the dissolution of her marriage over an assault.
NAN reports that the complainant, a resident of Hayin Dan-Bushiya, told the court that Abdulrazak had assaulted her because she refused to exchange greetings with her co-wife when they met in the market.
“This is not the first time he has beaten me, in fact, this is the third time. I tried to explain to him what happened but he turned a deaf ear,” she stated.
She also told the court that her husband does not show her love and care whenever he was in her room, praying the court to dissolve the marriage as she was no longer interested in the union.
In his defence, Abdulrazak, who is married to three wives, said he had only beaten her once and had since regretted his actions and apologised to her.
The judge, Malam Musa Sa’ad-Goma after listening to both parties ordered them to present their guardians in court at the next hearing so as to find a solution to the problem.Sa’ad-Goma, thereafter, adjourned the case to Feb. 11.
In accordance with the provisions of the Matrimonial Causes Act (“the Act”), for a marriage to be dissolved by the High Court, it must be a statutory marriage evidenced by a Marriage Certificate. A statutory marriage is one celebrated under the Act and it confers jurisdiction of the Court to hear the petition for dissolution of marriage.
The law that governs matrimonial causes in Nigeria is the Marriage Act, the Matrimonial Causes Act 1970 and the Matrimonial Causes Rules 1983. These laws provide for the rules governing matrimonial matters, procedures and grounds relating to matrimonial causes. The Act provides that the court with jurisdiction that has authority to hear and determine matrimonial causes is the High Court of any State of the Federation as provided under the Section 2 of the Act. The action for dissolution of marriage is ordinarily instituted by a virtue of Petition filed by the person bringing the action called the Petitioner and the party who it is brought against that is called the Respondent. The Respondent replies to the filed petition by a way of Answer or Cross-Petition.The law stipulates that a marriage under two (2) years cannot be dissolved; this is called the two-year rule. It is provided for under Section 30 of the Act, which states “subject to this section proceedings for a decree of dissolution of marriage shall not be instituted within two years after the date of the marriage except by the leave of court”.Although to every rule there must be an exception. Consequently, in exceptional cases, a marriage under 2 years can be dissolved where the petitioner bringing the action for divorce can prove that exceptional hardship or that the case is one that involves exceptional depravity, which will be caused if the marriage is not dissolved, as it is provided for under Section 30 (3) of the Act. The court in determining the application for leave to institute proceedings of dissolution of the marriage under two years will consider the interest of any children of the marriage and question whether there would be any probability of a reconciliation between the parties before the expiration of the period of two years after the date of marriage.
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