By Bruce Asemota
The High Court in Banjul, presided over by Justice Oleidi U Uduma, has granted the divorce sought by a man, Hans Torbijern Kerje, against a Gambian lady.
However, the man got more than he bargained for when he was slammed with heavy costs amid exposure of his alleged treatment of the wife.
The now dissolved marriage between the partners was tied in May 2018.
Dissolving the marriage, the presiding judge gave a long history of the case, explaining that Hans T.Kerje filed for his marriage to be dissolved.
The judge disclosed that the wife filed an answer to the petition and a counter claim.
She explained that between March 2020 and January 2021, the court had several adjournments because the husband who, despite several hearing notices served on him, made no response. “He abandoned his own claim and did not lead evidence to support his claim,” the judge said.
She said the wife tendered some exhibits like photocopy of the marriage certificate, a print out text from the husband to a mutual friend telling him that his wife was HIV positive, that he was going to divorce her and hold her residency to stop her from travelling.
According to the court, the husband told his friend that he would throw his wife into the streets where he found her, and that she was HIV positive and would die alone; all of which were exhibited.
The court also revealed that a photo shot of the respondent’s HIV positive test which the petitioner was publishing to all their friends in their contact and on the walls at Bakau, castigating her, was also exhibited.
Justice Uduma disclosed that the wife experienced trauma in the said marriage and that the husband tortured and traumatised her in many cases up to the extent of pouring soda on her, resulting in burns and hospitalization from which she still has not recovered. “When the matter was reported to the police, the husband ran away and continued castigating his wife by sending out and publishing her name everywhere including on the walls in Bakau where she lives and to all their contacts that she is HIV positive and a prostitute,” the court heard.
The trial judge stated that from the totality of the evidence before the court, it is clear that the marriage has broken down beyond reconciliation.
She therefore entered judgment that the divorce is granted to the wife and the marriage between the duo at the registry in Banjul dissolved.
The judge ordered that the High Court issue a certificate of divorce and that the husband shall pay the wife D500.000 for compensation and damages.
The court also ordered that he shall pay D100.000 to the wife being cost of defending the suit.
The husband was also ordered to pay D150.000 as general cost in favour of the wife.
Finally, the court ordered the husband to pay D5.000 per month to the wife from the date the suit was filed in June 2019 until when it was determined.