A Nigerian man, Theophilus Ayodeji Obayan, has dragged his estranged wife, Chibuzor Lilian Obayan, before a Customary Court in Oke-Eda Akure, Ondo State, for changing their children’s surname to her lover’s.

Obayan, who appeared in court Thursday, pleaded with the judge to dissolve his 23-year-old marriage to Lilian and grant him custody of their four children.

“My lord, my marriage from the onset was characterised by crises, abuse, disobedience, misunderstanding, lies, manipulation, hate, and rage,” Obayan began.

“I married Lilian in the year 2000 and we have four children. I am a Yoruba, while my wife is of the Igbo tribe. I have suffered a lot at the hands of her family because they don’t love me, but I’ve been enduring.

“Lilian packed her belongings out of my house to another man’s house in 2019 and went to change her name, including my children’s surname to the name of the Igbo man she’s engaged to.”

The petitioner also told the court that his estranged wife denied him access to his children since moving out of their home.

Lilian, who also appeared in court Thursday, blamed her decision to move out on her husband’s irresponsible nature.

“My lord, life was not easy for me over the years we have been together. In fact, Obayan derived pleasure in always molesting and beating me to the extent that I sustained body fractures.

“Obayan is not a good husband to me and a good father to his children, as he doesn’t pay their school fees nor care about how they are living.

“He didn’t pay my dowry. So, I finally found a man to marry. And my new love wants my children to bear his name instead of that of their irresponsible father

“Our children are old enough to choose for themselves as they are no longer kids. My first two girls, Mayomi and Damilola are 22 and 20 years old, while the boys, Ariyo and Aduragbemi are 18 and 16 years old respectively,” Lilian told the court.

The court’s president, Magistrate Olusegun Rotiba, in his ruling, advised the parties to allow peace to reign and adjourned the matter till September 28, 2023, for continuation and adoption of oral addresses or probably judgment.

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