This is a true story. It is a story of love that turned to hatred. It is a story of passion that became an obsession. It is a story that began in the other room and ended in the courtroom. The protagonist of this story must have read Khalil Gibran. Of course you know Khalil Gibran. He was a famous Lebanese-American writer and poet. He was an engaging poet. I commend his The Prophet to you for your reading pleasure.
This is what Gibran said about love:
“When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
As the north wind lays waste the garden.”
The protagonist followed Khalil Gibran’s directives. He followed his love when she called. Her ways were hard and steep, yet he followed. Her sword wounded him, yet he loved her. But it is not Onigegewura’s story. Let’s go to Ado-Ekiti via Ibadan so that you can hear the story directly from the Legend who was the counsel in the case:
The husband was a most faithful, loving and dedicated man. He met his wife while studying Architecture in London. The lady had tuberculosis and was treated and became completely free of the disease. There was however a condition. The lady was asked not to do any hard work in life. The man knew all these but he decided to get married to her and undertook never to allow her to do any hard work.
Upon completion of his degree in the United Kingdom, they decided to move back to Nigeria. When they arrived in the country, the man took up appointment as an architect with the Ministry of Works, Ibadan. He bought a car for the woman. In furtherance of his promise not to allow the woman to work, he also engaged housekeepers for her. (I hope you notice that the ‘housekeepers’ is in plural).
The woman would estimate the time when the husband ought to arrive in the office and phone to confirm his arrival in the office to ensure that he did not call anywhere else. She would also phone in the afternoon to know whether he had left the office and calculate the time he would arrive in the house. If the man was going for social engagements like Tennis Club, she would also phone to ascertain whether he was there or not and when he left the Club.
On one occasion, she suspected that the Secretary to the husband was friendly to the husband. She then came to the husband’s office and beat up the Secretary. She also ransacked the husband’s drawer in the office to check whether there were love letters there.
On another occasion, the husband travelled to England on an official course which was scheduled for two weeks but never arrived in Nigeria until two days after he was supposed to have returned. The wife then suspected that he must have stayed behind because of a woman.
When the man came back, he was tired and slept in his room. The woman went quietly to the room and set the window blind on fire. It was the smoke that woke up the man.
On yet another occasion, the man returned from his overseas trip a day or two late. The woman did not say a word. The following morning, the man went to the bathroom to have a bath. He closed the door. The woman went quietly to the bathroom door and locked it from outside. The man made efforts to unlock the door but the woman insisted that she would not open the door.
She shouted and told the husband that she was punishing him for coming late from his overseas trip. The man remained in the bathroom for hours. As luck would have it, the woman’s uncle came to visit her and asked after the husband. The woman said the husband had gone to the office. When the uncle was on his way out, the husband who was in the bathroom called the uncle that he was locked up in the bathroom. It was the uncle who eventually opened the bathroom door for him.
When the man found that he could not cope anymore, he decided to pack into a very quiet, unknown hotel. He did not tell anybody where he was.
The woman did not see him for weeks. She decided to look for him. She eventually found that he was in that hotel. The man had left a message that nobody should come except he had invited such a person. The woman knew that if she mentioned her real name, she would not be allowed in. She then told the waiter: “Tell him that his sister from Lagos had come to see him.” She gave the name of the sister. The man then allowed her in. When she was the husband, she caused a row in the hotel and the man had to follow her back to their home.
After this incident, the man briefed me (Chief Afe Babalola) for an action for judicial separation. The court granted one year separation. Before the end of the period, the woman had become pregnant for another man. Surprisingly, she sent a card to the husband which read as follows: “Congratulations. It is a baby boy.”
In granting dissolution of marriage, the court held that she was a suspicious woman who was used to imaging things and acting on such imaginations.
Thank you very much for reading.
Culled from Impossibility Made By Possible by Chief Afe Babalola