Between 4,000 and 5,000 divorce cases have flooded the courts in Abuja, marking an alarming increase in marriage breakdowns. This surge has pushed the marriage crisis to epidemic proportions, with reports of desperate measures taken by some individuals to avoid protracted legal battles, often leading to tragic consequences.
Most of these marriages being dissolved are shockingly less than two years old.
In a candid conversation with AkweyaTV at a recent marriage ceremony on Saturday, October 21, 2023, Ms. Elizabeth Iga Idoko disclosed that her lawyer friend was juggling over 250 divorce cases on her desk. Ms. Idoko emphasised that despite the alarming divorce rate, people continue to invest substantial resources in extravagant marriage ceremonies.
Recent times have witnessed a disturbing rise in social media reports of wives resorting to violence, including fatal attacks on their husbands, due to issues related to infidelity. In a striking case last month, a 25-year-old lady named Ruth Anthony implored an Abuja court to dissolve her marriage to prevent herself from harming her husband.
“There was a time he was beating me, and I ran to the kitchen to grab a knife. I came close to stabbing him in the stomach, but I changed my mind and stabbed his hand. Despite that, he continued to abuse me every day. I want this court to terminate our marriage before I take his life in self-defence one day,” she recounted.
This threat is not to be taken lightly. Recently, the wife of a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Miriam Sanders, was sentenced to death for her husband’s murder. Her case became a high-profile celebrity murder trial, and in a moment of confusion, Miriam attempted to flee the courtroom but was apprehended. She has since appealed her sentence.
Sanders is just one of numerous cases emerging in the Nigerian legal landscape. Sources close to the Lagos State High Court reveal that over a hundred divorce cases are processed daily, despite the court’s efforts to alleviate the backlog by establishing arbitration panels to reconcile couples. Reports of women resorting to violence against their husbands have become disturbingly frequent, with new cases emerging weekly.
What could be driving this alarming trend? Many of these cases appear to be triggered by wives checking their husband’s phone records. It is well known that some men engage in extramarital affairs regularly, often as a perk of their roles in blue-chip companies.
However, the most prevalent cause now seems to be infidelity among housewives, who are believed to be victims of boredom. Indications suggest that those reacting vehemently to their husbands’ extramarital affairs, often referred to as “side chics,” were once in the same position during their single days. They are now fiercely guarding their possessions from their former partners in crime.
Allegations have even arisen that if DNA tests were conducted in most urban families, it would be revealed that many men are not the biological fathers of their wives’ children. Recent reports highlight a case in which a man discovered that none of his three children were biologically related to him.
Conversations about marital crises have taken centre stage on social media, but regrettably, the discussions appear to be doing more harm than good. Just recently, a newlywed woman openly suggested on her social media account that tampering with a husband’s car brakes would be the best way to handle infidelity. News of this post eventually reached her husband, leading to their separation.