A widow has pleaded with a Grade 1 Area Court in Karu Abuja to order a 27-year-old man to pay her the sum of N800, 000 as compensation for impregnating her daughter and causing her to drop out of school.
The petitioner, Rhoda Joshua narrated to the court on Wednesday that the defendant, John Okechukwu, an indigene of Nasarawa State had been having sexual relations with her daughter since 2016.
According to her, Okechukwu dumped her daughter on learning that she had fallen pregnant from their escapades and the young girl who was in Secondary School 1 as at the time was forced to drop out of school.
The embittered complainant said: “My Lord, my daughter has been seeing this guy since last year when she was 13 and as a mother, I noticed she had started having sex with him.
“I warned her and even beat her to stop it but instead of bringing home a result of flying colours, she brought this pregnancy nine months ago.
“I kept cautioning my daughter against the relationship and advised her to face her studies because I am a widow but she told me the guy said he wanted to marry her.
“He impregnated her while she was still in school so she had to drop out and since she took in till now that she will give birth he has never given her even one naira for her or the coming baby.
“I have been the one taking care of her, the pregnancy and her younger one and I have no support from anywhere.
“So, I am pleading with this Court to order him to pay me the sum of N800, 000 in damages for allowing her to drop out of school because of the pregnancy and for not taking any responsibility since my daughter became pregnant and for refusing to marry her.
“He promised to marry her but since she became pregnant till now that she will soon put to bed, he has refused to even take us to his family members, keep to his promise or take any form of responsibility.’’
In his defence, the defendant admitted that he would be giving a little sum of money for the upkeep of the teenager and expressed uncertainty on whether he will eventually get married to her.
He said: “My Lord, she will have my baby and that is my responsibility and I will be giving a token towards that.
“Even if I don’t marry her that baby will make our relationship everlasting.
“I am also a student and cannot get married now but I will try and be giving a token for the upkeep of the baby. I am not sure of the future itself.”
On her part, the pregnant girl stated that she was not willing to get married to the defendant because he already betrayed her trust by abandoning her when she got pregnant despite his promise of getting married to her.
She said: “I cannot marry him because he did not keep to his words of getting married to me and taking good care of me since I became pregnant rather he denied me and said he can’t marry me.’’
After listening to all involved, the judge, Abdullahi Baba, said the case could only be heard in a customary court.
He said: “The issue brought by the plaintiff before this court is centred on marriage and this can only be determined by a customary court of law.
‘”So, let this case be transferred to the Customary Court in Karu for a proper trial.”
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