…As Divorcees’ Association set to introduce Counseling Centres for intending couples in Bauchi***
Mr Olujonwo Obasanjo, son of former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday told an Ikeja High Court that he was unable to serve his estranged wife, Temitope, divorce papers. The Association of Divorcees in Bauchi is however set to introduce Counseling Centres for intending couples across the state in an effort to address marital challenges leading to broken homes.
Temitope nee Adebutu, is the daughter of popular Premier Lotto magnate, Sir Kessington Adebutu alias “Baba Ijebu”. The couple were absent in court, and there was also no legal representation for Temitope.
Counsel to Olujonwo, Mr Olayinka Kujembola, informed the court that several fruitless efforts had been made to serve Temitope.
“We have made several attempts to serve her in Abeokuta, Ogun State, but failed.
“Even at her residence located within an Estate in Ikoyi, the court Sheriff complained that he was unable to effect service because of the tight security,” Kujembola said.
Justice Bisi Akinlade noted that proceedings in the divorce suit were always reported in the media and that efforts should be made to serve Temitope in Ogun where she works and resides.
“The issue between this couple is always reported in the papers.
“The respondent stays in Ogun State, why do you want me to grant an Order for substituted service for Lagos where she does not stay?
“I will adjourn this case to ensure that the bailiff serves her personally so that we can be sure that we have exhausted all options.
“This is a very simple matter; it is a very simple divorce. This case is adjourned till Oct. 2 for hearing of pending applications,” Akinlade said.
During proceedings of May 23, Olujonwo’s counsel, Ms Omo Omofoma also told the court that Olujonwo had made several attempts to serve Temitope to no avail.
Justice Akinlade had noted during the proceedings that other means of service like an alternative address and courier service should be explored by the petitioner (Olujonwo).
Olujonwo and Temitope got married on May 11 and 13, 2017 in a grand wedding which attracted the ‘creme de la creme’ of the society. The marriage, however, came to a halt a few months later.
Weeks leading to the May 2017 wedding, Olujonwo’s mother, Mrs Taiwo Obasanjo had filed a suit at an Ikeja High Court seeking the postponement of the wedding of her son to Temitope.
According to her, she had received various warnings and prophecies from men of God that her son should not be involved in any elaborate celebration before his 34th birthday which was June 1, 2017.
Justice Lateefa Okunnu in a ruling on April 10, 2017 had dismissed the suit on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear it because Olujonwo, then 33, was an adult.
In the meantime, the Association of Divorcees in Bauchi is set to introduce Counseling Centres for intending couples across the state in an effort to address marital challenges leading to broken homes.
The association’s Chairperson, Hajiya Balaraba Ibrahim, disclosed this in on Wednesday, in Bauchi, adding that the centres would be established in partnership with Muslim and Christian clerics to prepare the minds of intending couples.
According to her, the increase in the number of young divorced girls is becoming worrisome, adding that it is constituting a menace to the society.
“We conducted a survey three months ago across the 20 local government areas of Bauchi State.
“According to the indicators, major causes of separation and divorce were lack of empowerment skills, unemployment, poverty and early marriage among spouses.
“The association seeks to further address the issue of child marriage in our communities,” she said.
Ibrahim also noted that some husbands were not discharging their marital responsibilities which, she said, included proper feeding, clothing and shelter.
“Some of the divorcees we interviewed during our survey three months ago said that their husbands were not providing their basic needs.
“Some of them, as young as 20 years, were married off at the age of 15, while others had divorced more than 10 years ago.
“While men are not even available for marriage, those that were married could not take care of their matrimonial responsibilities.
“We will partner with clerics from both religions to embark on counseling before marriage to prepare their minds for marital life,” she said.
Ibrahim said that a census would be conducted in the state to have the accurate number of divorcees.
Speaking on the conduct of mass wedding by the state government, she said that the divorcees needed to be empowered and counseled before seeking government’s intervention towards the ceremony.