The marriage of Anita to Paul Okoye (AKA Rude Boy) of the defunct Psquare was, before now, well-admired considering the story behind the union, the period the marriage had lasted and how happy the couple appeared publicly. The couple was said to have dated for ten years. They thereafter tied the knot, and remained tied together for over seven years (with three kids) until the wife now seeks to untie the knot by judicial process.

Arguably, Anita devoted the fullness of her love to Paul even before he became a super star. This naturally entitles her to the queenship of his heart as one who loved unconditionally. Paul on the other hand is commended for finding true love in Anita and honouring her.

Anita claims the marriage has broken down irretrievably, meaning there’s nothing left to be salvaged except the millions she claims as monthly upkeep from Paul.

Typically, a divorce proceeding is a proceeding whereby the court looks at the case presented to confirm that the facts and circumstances warrant dissolving the marriage in accordance with the law; while necessary consequential orders are made to take care of other related issues like upkeep and custody. The law believes there is no point preserving a marriage that has broken down irretrievably. This is the reason irretrievable breakdown is the only ground a marriage under the Marriage Act can be dissolved. To breakdown irretrievably simply means that the engine of the marriage has damaged beyond repairs. This is what Anita is telling the court.

Several facts identified by law can support the claim of irretrievable breakdown of marriage such as denial of conjugal rights or failure to consummate the marriage, desertion, intolerable adultery, living apart for a continuous period of two or three years, terrible behaviour no one is reasonably expected to live with and inexplicable absence of a partner that leads to a presumption of death.

To succeed, Anita needs to prove any of the supporting facts in line with established legal principles. However, if Paul steps in and decides not to object to the dissolution of the marriage, the Court will have less troubles in granting their wishes.

The One Solution

Although Rude Boy might be in rude shock when served with the divorce papers from Anita, only one solution can save the situation if he desires to rescue the sinking titanic. That is, Mediation.

Mediation is one of the alternative dispute resolution mechanism that has awesome advantages especially when successful. One or more seasoned mediators (not necessarily marriage counselors) have the capacity to thoroughly lead the couple through a reconciliation process that will identify all the elements rocking the boat. Divorce proceedings, no matter how well conducted, can hardly ever reveal the underlying problems.

Where a seasoned mediator steps in, there’s hope. But should both parties unanimously decide to go their separate ways, then the law will guide the process of permanent separation. Interestingly, if they find love again and decide to remarry, the law will welcome them with a banquet.

While the public is feasting on the controversy, information available on social media can hardly reveal or represent the real problems between the former lovebirds. Through mediation, there is real hope.

At the risk of going religious, it is my personal belief, which I am constitutionally entitled to, that a couple who continually work for the good of the marriage and adores God’s presence in their lives will remain happy and successful, and no matter the challenge, they’ll come out victorious.


Featured Image Credit: BBC

Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has worked with a number of startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.
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