Tuesday 16 May 2017

Court Nullifies A 4 Year Old Marriage Because Wife Concealed Her HIV Status Before Marriage -Details

A Federal Capital Territory, FCT, high court sitting in Maitama, yesterday, nullified a four-year-old marriage between Mr. Ugochukwu Eke and Uchenna Eke because the wife concealed her HIV status before marriage.The judge, Justice Jude Okeke, in his judgment, held that the petitioner’s evidence had been accepted since the woman did not file any protest contradicting the facts.
He ruled:
“The court holds the view that by undeniable evidence the respondent is suffering from HIV prior and during the marriage.“
In the circumstance, the court holds the view that the petitioner has fulfilled the provisions of Section 5 (1) (a) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 2004 to grant the prayers sought.

“In the light of this, a decree of nullity of the marriage between the petitioner and the respondent contracted on February 12, 2013 at marriage registry of Kaduna South District is hereby nullified.”

He recalled that Eke, on June 15, 2016, filed a petition seeking the nullification of his marriage with his wife, Uchenna.
The judge said that the petitioner pleaded for voiding of the marriage because his wife was suffering from a terminal disease, and in a communicable form before the consummation of the marriage. He held that the woman concealed the information about her health condition from her husband and they got married after which she relocated from Kaduna to Abuja on November 29, 2013 to join the man. Okeke held that there was no pre-marital dating and no medical laboratory test to ascertain their HIV status. 
He said that Eke, on December 2, 2015, discovered that his wife was HIV positive after observing that she was sick and frequenting Kaduna to visit a doctor. According to the judge, the petitioner stopped having sexual intercourse with the respondent and on February 15, 2016 she packed out of the house. 
He, therefore, dissolved the marriage on grounds that the woman did not contradict the prayer of her husband and the facts presented by him to end the union.

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