By Abimbola Ogunnaike
The marriage between Pastor Joshua Ajagunigbala and his wife, Rita Ajagunigbala has been dissolved by the Ekiti State magistrate court .
The 22-year marriage collapsed after a herbalist died on top of the pastor’s wife during sex romp in a hotel in the state.
According to reports, Pastor Joshua stated that his marriage was dissolved at the Ekiti State Customary Court after he filed a divorce suit seeking for the dissolution of the marriage with Rita on the grounds of adultery.
The petitioner, Pastor Ajagunigbala, during the hearing prayed the Court to dissolve the union on the ground of adultery and the custody of his children be given to him.
In evidence, he told the Court that he had not paid the dowry of the respondent and they had lived together for more than 22 years and had children. He also informed the Court that it was the third time he had taken her to Court on the ground of adultery, stating that the respondent in 2017 started having an illicit affair with a herbalist called Ifidayomi a.k.a Ejiogbe, who is now late.
Ajagunnigbala narrated to the court that the Herbalist died on top of the respondent while having s3xual intercourse in a hotel at Ikere-Ekiti on 2nd January, 2023, which led to a commotion and made thugs to destroy his house and his church at Ikere.
He lamented that her action led to his suspension by his Church authority and because of this, he is no longer interested in the union and pleaded with the Court to dissolve the union and give him custody of his children.
Mrs. Ajagunigbala, in response, admitted having s3xual relationship with the late herbalist, adding that her relationship with the Herbalist was because of lack of care from the petitioner.
According to her, she had been the one responsible for the feeding of the children and their school fees, just as she also claimed that she had incurred so much debt, which the late Ejiogbe helped her to offset.
During the hearing, the Court noted that their marriage was illegal because payment of dowry was not involved in the union as such there was no marriage to dissolve.
The President of the Court, Mr. Joseph Oyedele, while declaring judgment on the matter, held that there was no legal customary marriage between the two of them, adding that they are free to go their separate ways.
He said, “Having gone through all the oral evidence presented before this Court, it was discovered that there was no legal customary marriage between parties herein and there is no marriage available between parties to dissolve”.
“The Court hereby orders that the parties are now free to go on their own without disturbing the peace of each other.”
The Court ordered, the petitioner, Mr. Ajagunigbala, to take full responsibility of the welfare and education of the last two children the union produced because they are still minors.
“On the issue of the custody of the children, the Court can only order on the last two children of the marriage because they are yet to reach the age of majority. The first two children are free to decide under whose care they can live between the two parties because they are no longer minors.”
“However, the Court order that the last two children of the association (Olarewaju and Victoria Ajagunigbala) are to be with the petitioner and the petitioner is to be responsible for their welfare and education.”