A man, Iberemu Osadebe, last Saturday disrupted a wedding at the Great Salvation Christian Centre, also known as Father’s Church, on Ako Aro Road, Ifako-Ijaiye, Lagos, claiming the bride, Gloria, is his wife.
The Punch reports that he was on his sick bed in Isiala Mbano, Imo State, when he got news that his wife of 20 years, whom he had a traditional wedding with, is going to marry someone else.
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Osadebe was said to have fallen ill for five years after marrying Gloria and had to leave for Isiala Mbano, his hometown, for treatment.
He returned to Lagos on Friday, a day to the wedding, and reported his plan to disrupt the wedding at the Agbado Police Station.
He was however stopped by church members who recognised him, appealing to him to let the matter go.
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Some members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), who were said to be colleagues of the new groom, identified as Henry, were also invited to mediate.
Osadebe told The Punch that his wife’s decision is shocking, saying he passed through a lot to marry her after they had a son together. He revealed that his mother was against the union as she is not from his tribe but he refused and married her.
The former driver explained that he sold his land for N1 million and sent her N500,000 to keep for their traditional wedding in Uromi, Esan North-East, Edo State.
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He alleged that while he was sick, his wife called and lamented that she and their son were starving, adding that he instructed that his bus be sold and the proceeds given to Gloria to start a business and pay the son’s school fees.
He noted that though he still loved the woman, he had decided to let her go, but not without the release of his son and refund of the bride price.
A family member of the man, said Gloria was seeing the new man while her husband was still in Lagos. He said Osadebe had been issued a divorce letter to the surprise of his family.
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However, Ebube Evans, a prophetess in the church, said Osadebe used Gloria to beg for alms at Ogba bus stop. She added that the woman had later complained that the money made from alms begging was used by the man to smoke and drink alcohol.
She said after the church intervened in the matter, Osadebe got angry, sold all his property and left for the village. She added that Gloria and her son were taken care of while he was away.
“For the period he was away, nobody asked after the woman or her child. We fed her and sent the boy to school.
“At a point, she became very ill and needed a surgery. The church raised money for the treatment.
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“They were sent out of their house because the man owed two years’ rent; I gave her one room in my flat. Nobody gave us anything. Would you say the marriage was still on, when you didn’t value the woman and her child?
“The woman is an orphan. She was living with me when this young man (Henry) showed up and said he wanted to marry her. I was happy for her, knowing the church’s burden would reduce,” The Punch quoted her to have said.
She said the pastor, who is her husband, demanded a formal divorce note before agreeing to conduct the fresh wedding.
Evans labelled Osadebe’s family as wicked, saying they were not supportive and abandoned Gloria when he left for the village but have now surfaced to destroy her happiness.
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The Punch reports that the divorce note is a court summons asking the couple to appear before the Ojo Customary Court on April 1, 2020.
The case could not hold because of the COVID-19 lockdown.