An Ekiti High Court in Ado Ekiti on Thursday barred a pastor, Victor Ekejuiba, from his matrimonial home, after he was found to persistently beat his wife.
The cleric should stay away from his wife for 12 months during which he should improve on his behaviour, the court ruled.
His wife, Caroline, an engineer, had approached the court, seeking an interim order restraining her husband from accessing the matrimonial home to prevent her from being physically assaulted.
Mrs. Ekejuiba told the court that the constant beating from her “troublesome” husband had damaged her both physically and psychologically.
In a suit number, HAD/633M/2016 , dated December 19, 2016, filed before Justice Monisola Abodunde, and supported with a 51-paragraph affidavit, Mrs. Ekejuiba sought, among others, an interim order barring her husband from having access to her to prevent her from being killed through beating.
She also sought orders barring her husband from removing “movable and immovable properties” belonging to her, including one four-bedroom flat at zone 3, road 4, along Ayegunle street, off Poly road Ado Ekiti, two-bedroom flat located at the same point, three generators, 5KVA generator, among others.
During the trial, the Mrs. Ekejuiba’s counsel, Blessing Ajileye, presented various evidence to substantiate the claim that Mr Ekejuiba was an “unrepentant wife beater.”
Ms. Ajileye presented a printed text message sent by the respondent to his wife, threatening to continue to beat her and take from her some of her properties.
Mr. Ekejuiba, however, did not deny or controvert the evidence.
In her ruling, Justice Abodunde said the issue for determination was on the rights of the applicant to be protected from harm that could endanger her life arising from matrimonial disputes- and domestic violence before she takes steps if she so wishes under the matrimonial causes Act.
“My most persuaded view is that under the present circumstance, the applicant has succeeded in showing the court that her life is endangered by staying under the same roof with the respondent and that she needs to be protected from further harm without prejudice to the rights of the respondent,” the judge held.
“Under Section 2A of the law prohibiting Gender Based Violence, violence is defined as any act that inflicts physical, mental, or sexual harm or suffering or threats of such acts, coercion and other deprivation of liberty.”
Stating the orders, the judge said, “That Engr. Caroline Oluchi Ekejiuba is granted an interim protection order, protecting her from further violence, the respondent is restrained from disposing off the movable and immovable properties, the respondent is ordered to vacate the applicant’s home for 12 months in the first instance and he is as well prohibited from coming within fifty metres without her consent.”
Justice Abodunde said by this ruling, Mr. Ekejuiba is expected to be of good behaviour and should imbibe family values.
She warned that failure of the husband to abide by the ruling might attract other punitive measures in line with Section 25 (a) of the Ekiti State Gender Based Violence Prohibition Law.