The wife of a pastor has filed for a divorce her husband raped her when she was pregnant and caused her to lose the baby.
A 38-year-old make-up artist, Mary Iyayi, has urged a Lagos Island Customary Court to dissolve her two-year-old marriage to her husband, Pastor Samuel Iyayi, due to marital rape and sexual abuse.
She told the court that her husband raped her when she was two-months-old pregnant, causing her to lose the pregnancy.
"My husband raped me and I lost a two-month old pregnancy in the process. I want the dissolution of my two-year-old marriage."
My pastor-husband held my hands to the wall, so I could not move. I told him that I was pregnant but he did not listen, until he forcefully had sex with me.
After the sex, I started bleeding and I lost the pregnancy. He told me later that he had just helped me to flush out the pregnancy."
The woman also told the court how she aborted three times for the pastor while they were courting before they got married in order to save his ministry from crumbling.
"It was after we had been married that I knew that he married me because of my money and not that he truly loves for me. He once told me that he preferred a woman with big breasts which I do not have."
Mary Iyayi also told the court that her husband was fond of beating her at any slight provocation and that act had led her to have two miscarriages.
"While he was beating me, he also pushed me and I hit my stomach against the wall, and I lost a pregnancy in the process.
Due to the three abortions and two miscarriages I suffered, I was told at the hospital that my womb had been tampered with and that it would take divine intervention for me to be pregnant again.
Also, my husband threatened to kill me if I should leave him, saying it is against the law of his church. He said that their church law forbids its members from marrying another wife if the former wife is still alive.
I packed all my belongings from his house except my wedding gown which he seized. I want the court to help me collect it from him and dissolve the union.
I am making this appeal because I am the only child of my parents and I do not want to die prematurely and mysteriously."
But her 35-year-old husband, Pastor Iyayi, who lives at the Assembly of God Church, Alpha Beach, Lekki, Lagos State, denied ever raping his wife:
"It is true we had sex and she lost some blood in the process, but I did not rape her. She also left home in April 2014 for one and a-half months only to return after some of our church members had begged on her behalf.
I had sold the wedding gown when my father was sick and I could not raise money to offset his hospital bills."
He however said that he was still in love with his wife and was ready to have her back if she was still in love with him.
The President of the court, Awos Awosola, adjourned the case to June 1, ordering the man to produce the wedding gown on that date for final judgement.