By RITA OKOYE
Not many men could endure the sight of a woman crying and begging them for forgiveness but for Johnson Akinlosotu, a general contractor and businessman, he didn’t give a damn even if the woman who was once his wife and the mother of his seven children cried tears and blood.
For the millionaire, once bitten, twice shy was his watchword, as he was still peeved by his wife’s action of abandoning him and their children and absconding with his driver 25 years ago.
Her reappearance and appeal to return to take her place in the family was a request he would not even want to hear. And so obnoxious was the idea of her return that Johnson preemptively dragged Nihinola Akilosotu to a Grade A Customary Court, Ojo, Lagos for daring to come back to pester his life.
The 73 year old readily told all who cared to listen the reason his wife’s sins were unforgiveable. Their marriage, he alleged, was barely 16 years old when she shamelessly absconded with his driver. And what’s worse, she pitilessly abandoned their seven growing kids without a second thought. Johnson claimed he singlehandedly picked up the broken pieces of the family’s life. He toiled day and night to fend for their children. Just as he was about to settle down to reap the fruits of his intense labour, lo and behold, his runaway wife suddenly reappeared wanting to share in the rewards. “After I had finished training the children to a useful stage, she suddenly returned from nowhere to reap where she did not sow,” he argued.
When Nihinola , a general contractor, stood in the dock to present her own side of their story, she told the court that her husband’s escapades with women and how he nearly snuffed life out of her were the major reasons she deserted him. She gave a long but very interesting background to her action. “After I got married to my husband, we were facing difficult times. I was practically the bread winner of the family. I did all kinds of odd jobs to keep us going. I even worked at building sites, carrying bricks, bags of cements and other heavy building materials. Few years later, we opened an office together where people contract us for construction of houses. I was acting as his assistant, secretary, office girl and virtually running all the errands for him. Sometimes my friends would visit me at the office and I innocently introduce them to my husband. I had always known that my husband was weak and randy, but I never had an inkling that he would stoop so low to have an affair with my best friend right inside his office. On that fateful day, I didn’t come to the office as usual, but later decided to go and help him out, but on getting to his office, lo and behold, my darling husband and my best friend Fumilayo were in a very compromising position. I just walked out of the office to avoid creating a scene,” she said.
However, that did not account for her abandoning seven children including a 12-month-old toddler to her husband and for 25 years did not bother to look back to check how they were faring. She justified her flight. “Before I left his house, he had been doing everything possible to frustrate me out.
On this particular day, I was doing my chores outside the compound when I suddenly felt a big bang on my back. I fell down and saw my husband with a big club in his hands. Obviously, he had just hit me with that so hard on my back. I was admitted in the hospital for months battling to save my life and my legs, but my husband never showed up. Shortly after I recovered, I went back to the house, packed my bags and moved out to save my life from untimely death at his hand. ”
Nihinola whose second marriage where she bore three children had collapsed, fervently argued her reason for coming back. “Now that our collective labour is beginning to bear fruits, I want my own share of it because I was there with him through thick and thin. All our investments are beginning to yield interests, I want him to settle me financially, because I can’t lose on both ends,” she stated.
Despite all entreaties made by the court presided over by Alhaji T.A Said, Akinlosotu remained adamant and at the end of the day judgment went in his favour as the court ordered his estranged wife to desist from coming near him.