men If you're currently "dating," courting or in a relationship with someone you have absolutely no intentions of getting married to, I suggest you read this article very carefully. This is coming from a legal perspective and so I suggest you take it seriously.
Back in 2013, I once had a neighbour who lived two buildings after mine.
He was a man in his mid forties and worked at an oil company.
The man was comfortable within his rights and appeared very much ready to settle down.
Later on, we started seeing a very light skinned, timid lady around his apartment. When our transformer blew to smithereens and invitations were sent to every building to discuss about a new transformer, it was the lady we met and served her the letter.
She practically lived there.
Since the man who I will call Oga Jude ( not real name) was from a conservative religious group, I always saw the lady attend church services alone on Sundays.
One evening, while at the fuelling station trying to purchase fuel for my generator, Oga Jude strolled in. He asked me to wait up for him, and to my surprise, he paid for my fuel. Then he started :" the law, I'm worried. Wahala dey o."
"What happened?", I asked him.
"When you go get chance make I discuss with you as my lawyer? I need advice."
I told him to come to my office and I gave him the address.
Truly, on the appointed day, he came.
He tossed a court process on my table.
I looked through the process and I discovered Oga Jude had been sued and was to pay 12million naira in damages for breach of promise to marry.
I was shocked!
" Oga Jude, who did you promise marriage naa?"
He said "my brother, na that my girl naa...that yellow girl wey you dey see for my house steady."
"What happened naaa? Marry her naaa. That girl is clean and homely."
"How many times I wan marry? I don marry born 3 children."
My jaw literally dropped on the table.
He continued: "The issue is that my wife and kids are coming back from the UK to stay with me for the next six months and it's likely they may not go back."
So what do you want me to do? I asked
"What did you do to this girl that has made her rush to the court to seek redress? Did you actually promise to marry her? What steps did you take?"
He came out clean with me.
When the girl refused to part with her innocence, he indeed went to the girl's parents to declare his intention to marry her in the presence of kit and kin.
Convinced of his intentions, like a sheep to slaughter, he led her to his bedroom and ravished her countless times to his fill.
When he was weary of her body as expected, he wanted to discard her.
I listened to his ramblings and I was bitter in my spirit.
Looking at his file, I observed that the lawyer who prepared the brief was a friend, so I called him on the phone and booked an appointment.
When we met, he told me that the brief was sponsored by some members of the church the lady attends.
He had been paid fully. The said girl and her family were not spending a dime and they were hell bent on getting their pound of flesh from my oga Jude.
I dug deeper and I heard the gut wrenching and sordid details of the affair.
After several abortions, 3 years of "dating" and false promises, Oga Jude just woke up one morning and told the girl he was married and had kids and so they had no future.
She pleaded and begged, but her pleas fell on deaf ears.
She kept coming but he kept embarrassing her back to back.
He even beat her up mercilessly one time, tore her clothes and threw her out on the streets.
She sent emissaries, but they were embarrassed and given their marching orders.
Oga Jude had gotten the juice he craved and had no need for the " container"
Then the phone calls stopped.
The visits ceased and Oga Jude basked in his new found freedom.
The young lady out of heartbreak attempted suicide twice and was extremely depressed.
She later swallowed her shame and confided in her pastor who took her in and referred her to a counsellor and psychologist.
It was the pastor who also doubles as a lawyer that opened her eyes to her options in law and the need to sue Oga Jude if she wanted.
Of course she took up the option with both hands.
Now it was her turn to pay back Oga Jude with his own dirty coin.
The lawyer friend told me:
" Baba, as that girl dey so, she no get 1naira shame again. She don scrape hair dey wait prison. No extent wey that girl no go reach to get that money. And the fact she's not spending a dime makes her even more dangerous. Advise your client make him pay. We even hear say him be elder for where him dey worship sef. I intend writing them by this weekend make them knack am back seat first."
I called Oga Jude after the meeting and he called her bluff.
"She no go fit do am. No be that small girl wey I know? She no fit. Who dey give am mind? If I see am sef I go beat am. Who she be? She be amateur golddiger. I don tey for this game."
I begged him to call the lady and reach an amicable settlement as the case looked bad but he was adamant.
The case came up in court.
The judge was female. A mother.
Wahala don tie wrapper!!
When the initial mention stages as well as pre trial conferences passed, we delved into full hearing.
The lady was called to the witness box. The court was filled to the brim.
She stood there. Ice cold. Spotting a bald head and a bold earring, she swore on the Bible and adopted her evidence.
Judge: Ubani, cross examine the witness.
Me: my lord, the bar is full.
I will just take a bite. Maybe one or two questions then we take a short date.
Judge: very well then.
Me: Young Lady, how are you?
Witness: I'm fine.
Me: So how long did you have this affair with the defendant?
Witness: three years, Four months and eighteen days.
Me: and in all these years, you never knew he was married?
Witness: Barrister, are you asking me? You lived in the same area with him. Did you ever know he was married?
Me: I'm asking you a question my friend.
I ask, you answer. That's how it works here. So Answer me and quit being petty.
Judge: young lady, Answer him.
Witness: I never knew he was married.
Me: My lord may I at this point take a short adjournment so I can refuel and come back better prepared.
Judge: Take a date. Call the next case.
As soon as we stepped out of the court, the lady accosted me.
" You are now calling me young lady shebi? like say you never see me before. Can you say you don't know me? If it was your sister that they messed up would you be happy?
I had 4 abortions for this man. He gathered my entire family and told them he would marry me. Didn't he tell you he did "knocking of door"? This idiot standing there has collected list from my family. I rejected 3 marriage proposals from serious men because of this he-goat. Now he wants to leave me."
Turning to Oga Jude, she said " I will ruin you even if that's the last thing I'll do in this life. You never see this side of me. Now you will see it. You will know that there are some fruits you don't eat in secret. We shall see.
" If this court doesn't give me justice I will try something else. I will make you miserable. I will wreck your home. Your wife will know me. Just wait."
The adage "Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned" quickly played through my mind.
She stormed out with the rest of her family members.
Oga Jude just stood transfixed. He didn't utter a word.
On our way to the car, Oga Jude said to me
" the law, I've never ever seen that girl like that before.Ever.That girl can kill me like this without blinking.You see as her eye dey shine fiam fiam!! She don go even barb mallam join. Kaiii I don cast! Please the law, call that your lawyer friend and set up a meeting. I have too much to lose. My church, my wife, my job, my reputation, my kids, my peace of mind."
I did set up the meeting and the lady reluctantly agreed to accept 10million naira, a written and oral apology to her immediate and extended family and a Jeep for her parents.
Oga Jude paid. Painstakingly.
And that was how that case died albeit unnaturally.
Don't you dare take anyone for granted o.!
If you push some people to the wall, their claws and fangs will appear.
Are you currently going out with someone you have no intentions of getting married to?
Advise yourself accordingly.