Justice Moshood Abass of Ring Road High Court 2, Ibadan in Oyo State has ordered the dissolution of the seven-year-old marriage between Ogunyomi Omobode Modupe and Ogunyomi Olanrewaju Tajudeen, who have lived apart for a period of over three years.
According to the petition dated March 5, 2020, which the wife filed through her counsel, Otunba Kunle Kalejaye (SAN), and served on the husband, but which was not responded to through any counter affidavit, the couple were married at the Ake, Abeokuta Marriage Registry in Ogun State on November 2, 2013, but the union was not blessed with any child.
The petitioner, who currently lives in Jersey, USA, claimed that Tajudeen had before the wedding agreed to move overseas with her, but later refused to.
She told the court that she and Tajudeen had stopped cohabitation and had been separated since February 4, 2017, a condition that has been causing her stress and pain.
In his submission before the court, the petitioner’s counsel called Fowosere Olayinka, sister to the petitioner, who testified before the court.
In her evidence, she claimed to be a trader and that she was present at the wedding ceremony “where my sister was married to Olanrewaju Tajudeen Ogunyomi on 2nd November, 2013 at Ake, Abeokuta in Ogun State.
“I know the petitioner.
“She is my sister.
“I also know Ogunyomi Tajudeen.
“He is husband to my sister.
“They were married on 2nd November, 2013.
“I was present at the Marriage Registry at Ake, Abeokuta.
“A marriage certificate was issued to the couple.”
Asked why she subscribed to the dissolution of the marriage, she said: “The couple have separated since 4th February, 2017.
“They have been living apart since then.”
In his address, Kalejaye, who led Oluwatoba Kalejaye, Mojisola Hassan, D.D. Owoeye and J.A. Adeyemo, cited S. 15 (2) (f) of the Matrimonial Causes Act, saying: “Living apart for a period of three years preceding the presentation of a petition is a sure ground in law for an irretrievable breakdown of marriage.
“The parties have lived apart from 2017 to 2020 as the petition was filed on 5th March, 2020.”
Citing the authority in Omotunde v. Omotunde (2000), and Law Pavilion Law Report (10194), Kalejaye told the court: “There is no need inquiring into who between the parties is at fault once the parties have lived apart for a period of three years.
“I therefore urge Your Lordship to so make an order Nissi.”
In his brief judgment, Justice Abass noted that the petition was based on living apart by the couple, more so that the respondent (Tajudeen) did not file any defence despite being served with the petition.
Agreeing with the authorities cited by Kalejaye, the Judge said: “Section 15 (2) (f) of the MCA is given recognition in Omotunde v. Omotunde (2000).
“The law behind the section is not interested in who is right or wrong or the guilt or innocence of the parties.
“The evidence of the PW1 in this court is to the effect that the parties have been living apart since 4th of February, 2017.
“This court is bound to grant the dissolution of the marriage since the parties have been separated.
“I hereby hold that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
“I accordingly grant the order of dissolution nissi.
“The order shall become absolute after three months.”