‘I am tired of worshipping lesser gods with my husband’

Shari’ah court

An Ibadan-based trader, Janet Okupgo, on Monday sought the dissolution of her marriage to her husband, Johnson Okupgo, from a Mapo Customary Court in Ibadan, saying she was tired of joining him in worshipping “lesser gods.”

Janet told Chief Ademola Odunade, president of the court, that she could no longer bear frequent assault by Okupgo, arising from her refusal to further worship in the manner he adamantly desired.


The petitioner stated that as a Yoruba person, she had for many years joined her husband in diligently serving “Urhobo gods”, but had turned a new leaf.

She maintained that she had gained nothing positively rewarding but disgrace from following her husband to the shrine.

“Nothing has ever changed for better in our family rather than complaints of unrealized ambition. Johnson is a drunkard and is always beating me. My life is in serious danger as a result.

“He has made it a point of duty that if I dare complain on anything he does to me, I must suffer brutality from him. Currently, Johnson is threatening to kill me if I enter his home again,” Janet said.

Okupgo, however, opposed the suit, praying the court to help him prevail on his wife not to call it quits with the marriage.

The respondent, who did not deny the allegations his wife levelled against him, said that it might be disastrous for Janet if she left him as a wife because of the tradition of his Urhobo people.

He said he performed all the necessary traditional rites to marry Janet, which was the reason why she could not leave him without first appeasing the gods.

“I am now born again. I have started attending church and I will never beat Janet again,” Okupgo pleaded.

Odunade posited there was the need to allow the plaintiff to reconsider her position due to the promise her husband had made before the court.

He then adjourned the matter till August 27, 2019 for further hearing.


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