By Ibrahim Jibril Ikowe
An Ogun State High Court sitting in Shagamu, on Thursday February 24 gave Mrs Moji Obasanjo one month ultimatum to sign the Terms of Settlement with her estranged husband, Prof Mustapha Abiodun Akinkunmi or be ready to proceed with the divorce suit filed by him.
The terms contained the conditions she gave to her husband before she could agree with the divorce that her husband seeks. Already Prof Akinkunmi has signed the agreement but she(Moji) has not.
Justice C.C Ogunlana gave the ultimatum sequel to the request by Moji’s lawyer,Moji Obasanjo’s lawyer – Mrs. Susan Oluchi Agu who presented the terms of settlement to the court, asking for time for both parties to conclude and report to the court. She said that she believed both parties can still settle their differences because of the child God has blessed them with. Moji Obasanjo was not present in court.
This was vehemently opposed by Prof Akinkunmi’s lawyer, Mr Lanre Olayinka who told the court that his client had filed his petition four times demanding for the dissolution of the marriage. He insisted that his client had already signed the terms of settlement. He said that she is only playing for time. There was a heated argument between the lawyers and the judge had to intervene.
Justice Ogunsanya told both parties that the court cannot accept any terms of settlement unless both parties agree and sign the terms. “It is only then that I can direct both signatories to the registry for necessary procedure but without it there is nothing I can do”, the judge said. The judge thereafter gave both parties till March 28 to conclude with the terms of settlement failing which the divorce proceedings will commence.
Although the court started sitting at exactly 9.04 a.m, the case was the last to be called at 1.00pm probably because of the sensational nature. As soon as they stepped out of the court, Prof Akinkunmi engaged his lawyer, insisting that his estranged wife is playing for time. He said that “settlement” is part of Moji’s tactics to delay the divorce proceedings. He made reference to her divorce proceedings with her former husband, Gbenga Obasanjo before an Ikeja High Court where she engaged in the same style. ‘Moji wanted to eat her cake and have it back. She wants to stay married and still be frolicking around. No, no! I can’t continue with such a woman, as he walked towards his car. He wore an ash colored Kaftan with blue sneakers to match.
In the papers filed before the court, Prof Akinkunmi claimed he is seeking dissolution “on the ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably on the facts that the Petitioner and the Respondent have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 2 (two) years immediately preceding the presentation of this petition; and that since the marriage the Respondent has behaved in such a way that the Petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the Respondent”.
He also accused Moji of infidelity in their marriage. “Barely some months after she moved into the matrimonial home, she went back to her old ways of living more importantly engaging in extra marital affairs and this led to her moving out of her matrimonial home finally on 19th October, 2018 and she has since refused and/or neglected to return to the matrimonial home”.
Since the marriage the Respondent has behaved in such a way that the Petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent namely by her acts of extreme cruelty involving mental, emotional and physical abuse to the Petitioner, which behavior by the Respondent has been emotionally and physiologically traumatic for the Petitioner;
The Respondent has a habit of leaving the matrimonial home for parties and travelling outside the country without informing and/or seeking the consent of the Petitioner or any other person of her whereabouts and would refuse to account for her whereabouts when required of by the Petitioner; The Respondent has the habit of keeping late at nights. She is in the habit of uttering abusive words and making embarrassing remarks to the Petitioner”.
He stated further: The Respondent is in the habit of putting up an issue in order to evade her responsibilities as a wife and mother in the home. The Respondent is highly temperamental. She has the habit of quarrelling with the Petitioner at every excuse, she has exhibited uncontrollable anger towards the Petitioner. Her character and behavior is totally adverse to peace and she is in the habit of damaging property as a result of her uncontrollable anger. This attitude of hers towards the Petitioner led to filing an action against her in order to curb her.