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Former African official loses Maryland divorce case

In a post we wrote earlier this month, we discussed the ongoing divorce case of a former Nigerian politician. Recently, new information about the Maryland divorce has become available. The former Nigerian governor's attempts to legally separate from his wife were unsuccessful after a Maryland court refused to dissolve his marriage.

The judge in the case explained that he could not grant the couple a divorce, as the former official had previously had another wife alongside his current spouse. Because Maryland does not view polygamy as a legally acceptable form of marriage, the former governor must seek divorce in Nigeria. The judge added that while Maryland courts cannot allow the former official to divorce his wife, they will continue to host hearings regarding child custody and child support issues.

When the divorce case first began, the former governor claimed that he was never married to his wife of 10 years, but he changed his stance after evidence was presented that provided proof of the couple's marriage. Several documents provided by the former politician as proof that the couple was not married were deemed too inconsistent to be used as evidence, suggesting that the documents may have been falsified.

During the proceedings, the former official also confessed that he was the owner of a company that he had earlier alleged was not his. He used the company to force his family to vacate a Maryland home, saying that he did not own the home when in fact he did.

His wife plans to ask the court to hold him in contempt for failing to pay owed child support.

Source: Leadership, "Former Governor Loses Divorce Case," Abiodun Oluwarotimi, Sept. 11, 2011

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