———-By Ovasa Ogaga————
A 30-year-old lawyer, Usman Ahmed, on Tuesday asked his 25-year-old wife, Zainab Abdulkadir, to refund N400,000 bride price paid on her as a pre-condition for granting his wife divorce which she seeks.
Ahmed made the request when he appeared before a Jos Upper Area Court, where Zainab filed a suit seeking dissolution of the marriage lack of interest by her husband.
Counsel to the petitioner, Mr Bala Bako, told the court that, “my client is no longer interested in the marriage, she is seeking a divorce from her husband.’’
However, in a dramatic twist counsel to the respondent, Mr M.k. Idoko, told the court to prevail on the Zainab (petitioner) to refund the bride price paid on her.
He also told the court that the petitioner is not a caring wife because she deserted her husband when he was writing his final examination at the Law School.
“My lord, my client’s wife decided on her own to leave her matrimonial home while her husband was away to Law School writing his final examination.
“He (husband) tried to no avail to reconcile with her; but since she is the one who is willing to leave, she should refund the N400, 000 paid on her as bride price.
“By Islamic injunctions, she is to refund the exact bride price or even more, depending on the negotiation the two families reached, ’’ he argued.
Idoko said that it was on that ground that the respondent was demanding for exact amount paid as bride price.
Responding to the argument by the respondent’s counsel, the petitioner’s counsel Bako, however, said that the respondent abandoned her.
“She did not leave voluntarily, but she was compelled to do so when her husband abandoned her in their matrimonial home,’’ he said.
Bako said that the bride price cannot be refunded in full because she does not have such money. He added that “according to Islamic law, she will refund only what she can afford.
“My lord, the plaintiff can afford only N60, 000 as refund to her husband; after all he subjected her to trauma when he abandoned her at home, ’’ Bako said.
Idoko objected to the petitioner’s prayer, arguing that the petitioner’s claim of being subjected to trauma was false.
“The marriage was just about a year, and she subjected her husband to trauma as she abandoned him while writing his final examination at the Law School.
“My lord, if she cannot pay more or the exact amount, we are asking her to pay N350, 000 and nothing less as refund for her bride price, ’’ he said.
The judge, Yahaya Ibrahim, adjourned the case until April 21, for ruling.