How Kano woman ended with two husbands

The Kano State Hisbah Board is working to resolve a matter in which two men – Bala Abdulsalam and Bello Ibrahim – are claiming to be the husband of one Hauwa Mariri.

The Hisbah Commander for Kumbotso local government area of the state, Gwani Murtala, said the case has been transferred to their headquarters.

“The first husband said two years ago sickness forced him to go back to his village in search of medication only for him to return and find another man in his house with his wife and the man confirmed to him that he married her.

“So we transferred the case to our headquarters and all the three of them are there now to resolve the issue.”

The woman at the centre of the controversy Hauwa Mariri said she decided to marry another person after her first husband told her that he had divorced her before he left for the village.

“Because he was sick, he said he had divorced me before going to the village, that was why I married another husband.”

Hauwa, who has six children with her first husband, has a child and is pregnant for the second husband. She however said Bello divorced her verbally but did not give her any written letter, the way most Muslims do, especially in northern Nigeria.

But Bello has denied divorcing her, saying if not for sickness he wouldn’t have travelled to his village for two years.

“It was a serious sickness and I almost died, in fact it was Hauwa and some people who put me inside the vehicle that took me to my village for treatment, only for me to come back to this betrayal.

“I didn’t divorce her before I travelled, but if she insists, let her show the letter I wrote to her as proof.”

The second husband Bala however said Hauwa had assured him that he was no longer married to her and that was why decided to marry her.

“That was why I paid the bride price for the marriage and we have been living together for two years now. So I am surprised when her former husband said they were still married.”

Sani Shuaibu, a resident of Mariri area of Kano where the incident happened, told the BBC that Hauwa and Bala were lovebirds even before she married Bello.

“The thing is that Bala is a lorry driver and Hauwa was selling food at their garage; that was where they met and started courtship, but along the line Hauwa left and married Bello. But as Bello’s sickness worsened, with many not giving him a chance to recover, Hauwa decided to marry her former lover Bala.”

The chief Imam of a Jumuah mosque in Kano and an expert in Islamic law, Sheikh Nazifi Inuwa, told the BBC that the first husband has more power than the second husband in the matter.

“According to Sharia, the first husband will win the case because he has denied divorcing his wife. And that is what all Islamic courts will work with even if the wife said he husband has divorced her 100 times.

“Another thing in Sharia is that it is forbidden for a person to court a woman who already has a fiancée, let alone a married woman. The second husband should have investigated thoroughly.

“Finally, what should happen is for the first husband to retain his wife because he was the first to marry her and has denied divorcing her.”

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