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7 Divorced Women Give Advice on What to Know Before Marriage

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7 divorced women and their advice on what you need to know before marriage is an important one for me. While researching on a topic i stumbled on the most realistic piece i had ever seen on advice given by divorced women on what to consider before getting married. This will truly help you and your partner get the best perspective on where your marriage is or what went wrong. The credits on this piece go to Ms. Ella Quittner.

In pursuit of good advice, I spoke with seven individuals who’ve seen matrimony from all angles: women who got married and then divorced. I asked about life as a legally bound couple, and what they think one should consider before becoming part of one themselves. A few things quickly became clear: honesty and trust are paramount, inorganic personal growth from a partner is non-negotiable and nothing can beat knowing yourself.

Here’s what they had to say.


On the Decision to Get Married—and What They Wish They’d Thought About

“I wish I’d thought about my life 20 years down the road. We both were in a deeply religious lifestyle at the time, and the community we lived in celebrated marriage, so we stepped into it quickly. I had spoken about my hopes and dreams to my future spouse multiple times; I wish I hadn’t assumed he carried those dreams, too. Maybe I interpreted love as an automatic sharing of dreams for one another? My assumption that my dreams would be equally prioritized is something I regret.”
—Beth*, 31, tech operations, New York (married at 20, divorced at 29)

“The relationship was six years long at [the time we decided to get married], it seemed like the logical next step. Graduate school and kids were on the radar next. I wish I would’ve dated more in my 20s, lived life solo longer, and been pickier. I wish I would’ve listened to my gut and not said ‘yes’ (but I didn’t know how to then, and women are often programmed in our society to ignore their gut).”
—Rebecca, 41, full-time mother, Oregon (married at 29, divorced at 40)

“I was 20 when I got engaged to a then 34-year-old, which gave me some kind of dangerously inflated ego. I thought I was so special for being one of the first of my peers to embark on this life event, and mature for my age because I was engaged to a much-older man. I wish I knew then that there are more important and validating things to aspire to than marriage, and the bragging rights I thought I earned as a young bride were overrated.”
—Carrie, 27, illustrator, painter & tattoo apprentice, Amsterdam (married at 23, divorced at 24)

“We had been dating for more than a year, he was 32, and it seemed at the time to be the next logical step in the relationship. Both of us being children of immigrants, World War II survivors, our goal was to please our parents—have successful marriages, careers, and children who would, of course, then repeat this pattern. I wish I’d thought about myself and not about what my parents wanted. I wish I’d felt less obligated to others and I wish I’d cared less about what my larger community thought.”
—Pia, 57, writer & executive director of a non-profit, California (married at 27, divorced at 50)

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“I was three months pregnant, and I’d been raised in a strict Catholic family. The idea of anything besides marriage wasn’t fathomable. And I wasn’t thinking past the fairytale of the wedding day—there was a blindness of how hard it would be in real life. I was focused on the fairytale: we can be anyone, do anything, raise a baby.”
—Lauren*, 50, entrepreneur, California (married at 24, divorced at 25)

“It was a semi-arranged marriage. We’d met over the phone and had been introduced by a family contact, and we talked over the phone for a couple of months, but we lived in different countries. And then we basically met and decided. It happened pretty quickly. At the time, I felt like it was the right thing to do. I was thinking about someone who was kind and generous, and who was easy to talk to, and who was interested in me, and someone I thought would be a good parent. Someone who had the same religion or was interested in the same cultural activities as me. But sometimes those similarities you may have—food, culture, religion—may not translate to the way people view the world or more defined roles in a marriage or communication styles, which turned out to be very important.”
—Neesha*, 53, mental health professional, Washington (married in early 20s, divorced in late 20s)

On How Their Relationships Changed After Marriage

“We turned inward. Less reliance on friends and more (too much) time with each other. Our world got smaller and our activities mostly with each other.”
—Rebecca, 41

“Complacency. He thought our married fate was sealed and subsequently stopped putting in work and I stopped asking him to. I thought silence was easier than fighting, but I was wrong.“
—Carrie, 27

“The level of responsibility we faced and discovering how unprepared we were for it. How we needed to be responsible to each other, then to a business and then to our children. It was stunning. What changed was we didn’t have fun anymore, we didn’t know how—we hadn’t had the example—to step away from work and enjoy life and each other alongside our responsibilities.”
—Pia, 57

“Respect. That changed the quickest and the most. Our marriage kind of fell apart close to the beginning. In that situation, it was related to the fact that we really didn’t know each other, and both of us went in with different expectations. We didn’t spend appreciable time together before getting married.”
—Neesha, 53

“Me, [I changed]. I grew into myself, developed feminist values, and began to feel trapped in a life I chose as a 20 year old. All of a sudden, my status as being half of a ‘power couple’ dynamic felt suffocating and I began to get more and more frustrated with not being truly heard.”
——Tiffany, 33, Innovation Management, Sweden (married at 22, divorced at 33)

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On What They Wish They’d Known About Their Partners—and Themselves—Before Getting Married

“That you can change no one except yourself. That the problems before marriage only amplify after marriage, especially kids. I wish I paid attention to my ex not being proactive or interested in self-growth or growth in the relationship. I wish I knew that most relationship problems stem from wounded inner-child problems, and both partners have to be committed to acknowledging and working on them.”
—Rebecca, 41

“Can I say I wish I knew how capable [my partner] was at living a secret life while presenting the personality of the ‘dream man to be married to’? I was married so young, partly for love and partly because of the fear of going through life alone. I wish I could sit with 19-year-old Beth now and let her know that the strength and bravery she is often ‘teased’ for (because in that religious community, women were not meant to be brave and strong) was actually something to celebrate—and it would carry her toward all her dreams if she stepped forward into them. That I don’t need a partner to make sure I am okay along the way.”
—Beth*, 31

“It wasn’t a matter of wishing what I knew—I did know, so it was a matter of knowing and ignoring. Today we call that ‘red flags.’ I know that each time I saw one of these flags, I remember exactly what I told myself in order to convince myself the behavior wasn’t a big deal, or it was related to a specific event that wouldn’t occur again. I wish I knew that I was enough as I was: curious, entrepreneurial, beautiful, funny, intelligent, and insightful. I wish I knew that I could trust myself, and that I was more than my appearance, more than what others thought of me—I was my depth of experience, even just in my mid-to-late twenties.”
—Pia, 57

“I wish I knew I was strong enough at the time. I would have kept that child and done it on my own—I wish I knew I didn’t have to get married. I was strong enough a year and a half later to say this isn’t working and I’m going to stand up and walk away—which was a lot harder, to break up a family.”
—Lauren, 50

On the Most Unexpected Parts of Marriage

“How hard it is to be with that one person day after day, tackling all the obstacles, managing time, money, energy levels, kids’ needs, our own needs. I never knew it would be so hard to work with someone and I never knew that there would be days that I would hate my partner. It is messy to be human and it is messy to do it with another and with kids.”
—Pia, 57

“The ability to lose one’s identity—I became a shell of a human always been known as ‘Beth plus…’ instead of ‘Beth.’ I haven’t ever thought of my career in connection to my relationship status, but in fact, at the beginning of my career life, I was drawn to a career that complimented the marriage I was in. I was heavily accommodating to allow my partner to chase his career dreams and then I would adjust my timeline/career accordingly. Later on in the marriage as I grew older and took steps away from a belief system that taught me ‘to love my spouse was to serve my spouse,’ I was able to dream of a career in business and step outside of my comfort zone.”
—Beth*, 31

“The extended family dynamic, and how much it impacts your life. To say he had an unhealthy relationship with [his parents] would be an understatement. I knew this going into our marriage, but I didn’t know how much of this burden I would take on.”
—Tiffany, 33

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“I think the strangest thing is it’s pretty boring. It’s the mundanity of everyday life. When you make a house together and throw in a baby, you think it’s going to be all picket fences and Christmas trees, but it can become monotonous.”
—Lauren, 50

On the Best Parts of Marriage

“A partnership is beautiful when it’s done well. The joy of being fully ‘known’ by someone doesn’t require marriage, but often sits deep within a marriage.”
—Beth*, 31

“The family moments. Those moments when our kids would do something amazingly quirky and we would look at each other with that, ‘OMG, how did we create this perfect creature?” look. Or when he would play the banjo and the kids would dance while I knitted or wrote, or did something that looked like I was occupied with anything other than sheer joy, pride, and love. I still miss those moments. We both have new partners now, who, I am confident love our kids, but it’s not the same feeling—I can’t explain it and I think I’ll miss our little family in some way, all my life.”
—Tiffany, 33

“Our youthful enthusiasm and delight about this little human we’d created.”
—Lauren, 50

On Sex and Marriage

“I wish I knew how important sexual compatibility is, and that it won’t change after marriage. If partners aren’t on the same page with regard to frequency, what they like, if they enjoy it, that’s not going to change with marriage, kids. So find someone who is aligned with those important needs.”
—Rebecca, 41

“The best drug in the world is new exciting people, new exciting sex, and the beginnings of something new. You can’t match it. Even in the best relationships, it’s going to go away. Once you’re married, and if you choose to have children especially, of course sex is going to change. You’re exhausted, there are kids in the house. You could be married to Brad Pitt. After some years, he’s just your guy. Over time, the companionship aspect, someone you want to snuggle up on the couch with and just eat takeout with, is completely normal and what we’re all craving.”
—Lauren, 50

Advice for Anyone Currently Married

“If you’re fighting for your marriage to survive, don’t be ashamed to go to a professional, and early. Even if your therapy visits are sporadic, it can be so helpful and validating to have a new set of eyes and ears in the room with you and your spouse. Open-mindedness is key, however, and you might hear some things about yourself that you don’t want to. Just trust that your partner and your therapist are well-intentioned.”
—Carrie, 27

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“I think that what’s really important is to be true to yourself, and to not feel like your happiness is because of the other person, or that the other person has to make you happy. Everyone has to take their own personal responsibility. Not blaming your partner is also really important—not using that concept of blame, but figuring out ways to work together to achieve your goals. Aligning your goals is the other thing: how to achieve them together. And doing fun things together. Laughing together, being kind to each other.”
—Neesha, 53

Advice for Anyone Considering Marriage

“Pause and ask yourself why are you doing this. Many of us don’t take that moment to ask the why and allow yourself permission to not do it if you don’t want.”
—Beth*, 31

“Date a lot. Make your list and don’t settle. Your relationship to yourself is most important—you have to make you happy; do your emotional work and take care of you.”
—Rebecca, 41

“First, talk a lot about money, what it means to you. Talk about your parents’ marriages and what you learned from them. Talk about family trauma, secrets, your own trauma—be honest with each other and slowly build a good foundation on which to place your marriage and build from there.”
—Pia, 57

“I have no qualms about the institution of marriage, or the notion of committing oneself to a partner, but always remember that nothing is static. You’re allowed to change your mind, and so are they. The underlying sentiment of marriage, or any other relationship for that matter, should never be rooted in ownership.”
—Carrie, 27

“People should listen to their loved ones more. Oftentimes, in most cases of divorce I see, it’s not uncommon to hear ‘my mom told me…’ or ‘my best friend told me…’ or ‘this person warned me…’ [and regret at not having listened]. It’s helpful to listen to the people who really know us. Judgement can be rather cloudy when you’re dealing with sex and love and desire.”
—Lauren, 50

“Know yourself as much as possible, and be open to discussing the hard conversations. Was it on Man Repeller that I read the idea of renegotiating your relationship every year? I love that. Someone once told me that marriage should feel like a free choice every day, that you’re not bound to the person, but you choose each day to be with him or her.”
—Tiffany, 33

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*Names have been changed for privacy reasons.
Interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity.

 

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AFRICA

Tanzanian opposition leader returns home after years in exile

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Tanzanian opposition leader and former presidential candidate Tundu Lissu returned home from years of exile in Belgium to a cheering crowd on Wednesday, after the government lifted a ban on political rallies.

A former lawmaker and a fierce critic of the government, Lissu initially left the country to seek treatment abroad after he was shot 16 times, mostly in his lower abdomen, in an attack by unknown gunmen in the administrative capital Dodoma in 2017.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan lifted a ban on political rallies this month, more than six years after her predecessor John Magufuli imposed the measure which caused frequent run-ins between opposition leaders and police.

The move was welcomed by the opposition and it prompted Lissu to announce he would end his exile.

He was welcomed by a large gathering of his supporters at the Julius Nyerere International Airport, before making his way by car to a rally in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

Exile had been tough, he told the crowd which was waving his CHADEMA party flags, adding he would push for the enactment of a new constitution.

“Without a new constitution it will be difficult to change anything. Without it we won’t have a free and independent electoral commission,” he said.

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The current constitution vested too much power in the executive, he said, adding it was imperative to push for reforms.

“If you are tired of all these high taxes, high inflation of food… let us find a political solution, let us find a new constitution,” Lissu said.

Lissu, who had been arrested eight times in the year leading up to the gun attack he survived, returned to his homeland in 2020 to challenge Magufuli in an election.

However, shortly after the election he fled to the residence of the German ambassador after receiving death threats, and then left the country again.

Under the ban on rallies, which came into force in 2016, elected politicians were allowed to conduct rallies in their constituencies but other political rallies or protests were prohibited.

Magufuli died in March 2021 due to a heart disease that had plagued him for a decade. Upon ascending to the presidency, Hassan undertook some reforms, including lifting a ban on newspapers deemed critical and opening talks with opposition leaders.

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AFRICA

Nigeria: Federal Govt Sets Up 14-Man Committee to Manage Petroleum Products Supply, Distribution

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In a move to find lasting solution to the disruptions in the supply and distribution of petroleum products in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the constitution of a 14-man Steering Committee on Petroleum Products Supply and Distribution management, which he will personally chair, the ministry of petroleum resources announced yesterday.

The Steering Committee, which has minister of state for Petroleum Resource, Chief Timipre Sylva as alternate chairman is expected to among other things to ensure transparent and efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.

Other terms of reference are to ensure national strategic stock management, visibility on the NNPC Limited refineries rehabilitation programme and ensure end-end tracking of petroleum products, especial PMS to ascertain daily national consumption and eliminate smuggling.

To further ensure sanity in the supply and distribution across the value chain, Sylva has directed the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to ensure strict compliance with the government approved ex-depot and retail prices for PMS.

The minister has further directed the NMDPRA to ensure that NNPC Limited, which is the supplier of last resort meets the domestic supply obligation of PMS and other petroleum products in the country.

He further directed that the interests of the ordinary Nigerian is protected from price exploitation on other deregulated products such as AGO and DPK and LPG.

The federal government will not allow misguided elements to bring untold hardship upon the citizenry and attempt to discredit government’s efforts in consolidating the gains made thus far in the oil and gas sector of the economy.

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Other members of the committee are minister of Finance, permanent secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, National Economic Adviser to the President, director-general, Department of State Services (DSS), comptroller-general, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Member (EFCC), and commandant-general, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)

Others who made up the Steering Committee are Authority chief executive, Nigerian Midstream and Member Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), group chief executive officer, NNPC Limited, Special Advisor (Special Duties) to the HMSPR while the Technical Advisor (Midstream) to the HMSPR will serve as Secretary.

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AFRICA

Nigeria: SERAP Threatens to Drag Buhari to Court Over Attack On Peter Obi in Katsina

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari administration to promptly investigate the reported attacks on the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, or face a legal battle.

SERAP issued this warning to the government in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement said, “We’ll take legal action if the perpetrators are not immediately arrested and prosecuted.”

Meanwhile, the presidential campaign council of the Labour Party reported that the convoy of Obi was attacked two times in Katsina State on Monday.

A spokesperson for Obi/Datti Presidential Campaign Council Diran Onifade said Obi was attacked by hoodlums on his way to the airport after his rally in Katsina.

According to Onifade, some yet-to-be-identified hoodlums hurled heavy stones at the driver’s side of Obi’s vehicle on his way to the airport.

He said the stone caused heavy damage to the vehicle, though Obi and those in the car with him escaped without sustaining injuries.

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The spokesperson added that another set of hoodlums had earlier attacked the campaign convoy with stones in front of the Katsina stadium.

He said the attack left several vehicles, including that of the official stage crew damaged.

“Our candidate had met with women in a town hall and then held a hugely successful Rally at the Muhammad Dikko Stadium.

“However, on his way to the airport, hoodlums attacked the car our candidate was riding in with heavy stones from his driver’s side causing substantial damage to the vehicle.

“To the glory of God, Mr. Obi and other occupants of the car were unhurt.

“Subsequently another set of thugs also threw stones outside the stadium which damaged several vehicles including that of our official stage crew.

“The two incidents taken together make us suspect that the attacks may have been premeditated at the behest of desperate politicians who had been deluding themselves with the false claim that they had the northwest locked up but are now shocked by the show of force of the Obidient movement in the region.

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“While thanking the good people of Katsina who came out en masse to support our campaign yesterday, we call on security agencies to investigate this matter to forestall future occurrences,” the Campaign Council said.

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Nigeria: Inside the Multi-Million-Dollar Business Dispute Between Emefiele and ‘Brother-in-Law’

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John Omoile, who is demanding $36 million in damages, accuses Mr Emefiele of breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, negligent representation and fraud.

The governor of Nigeria’s central bank, Godwin Emefiele, is embroiled in a multi-million-dollar legal battle that has torn apart a once close family relationship. The legal tussle is separate from the troubles he faces over the handling of his job.

Mr Emefiele recently sneaked out and back to the country to avert the possibility of arrest by the State Security Service (SSS) who accuse him of financing terrorism.

He faces growing criticisms over the policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) often blamed for some of the nation’s economic woes and the scarcity of newly introduced currency notes just days before the deadline it set for phasing out the old notes.

As all of these happen, Mr Emefiele quietly grapples with a long-running feud which climaxed in a $36 million suit filed against him by a brother-in-law, John Omoile, in faraway Texas, the United States of America, in 2021.

The legal duel between Mr Emefiele and Mr Omoile is still on at the US District Court in the Northern Texas District.

Mr Omoile is demanding $36 million in damages for the losses he allegedly suffered as a result of the CBN governor’s alleged breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, negligent representation and fraud in course of their business partnerships.

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Apart from tearing apart a familial relationship, the feud has defied the larger family’s interventions, recorded a violation of a settlement agreement, and pitted lawyers engaged by both sides in the US against themselves.

The case has passed through at least five Texas law firms apart from the Nigerian lawyers keeping watch over the Nigerian end of the battle on behalf of the warring parties.

With the case just starting in court for the third time, Mr Omoile has indicated it will cost him $200,000 in attorney’s fees.

Mr Emefiele, too, has complained to the court that it will be extraordinarily burdensome for him to defend himself in the US, where he does not reside.

He has urged the court to dismiss the suit and hold that Nigeria is the appropriate jurisdiction to pursue the case, for reasons including the fact that the settlement agreement which covered all the issues between him and Mr Omoile was signed in Nigeria in 2014.

Background: Emefiele Vs Omoile

Mr Emefiele’s wife, Margaret, and John Omoile, a dual citizen of Nigeria and the US, are cousins raised in their teenage years by an aunt in Agbor, Delta State, South-south Nigeria, according to documents filed in court.

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The bond between them was so strong that they regarded each other as siblings. When Margaret got married to Mr Emefiele, the CBN governor had no difficulty regarding Mr Omoile as his brother-in-law.

Court documents described in compelling detail the rosy past of their family relationship.

Mr Emefiele visited and stayed with Mr Omoile’s family in Texas, US, during some of his vacations. He described how he lavished Mr Omoile with gifts, money, and business opportunities over the years.

Also remembering their once affectionate family relationship, Mr Omoile said of how they “shared homes, spent holidays and family gatherings together, have been close family friends, and as detailed below, became business partners/joint venturers.”

Mr Omoile, on different occasions, helped the Emefieles to buy houses in his neighbourhood in Coppell, Texas.

Drawing from the familial bond, mutual trust and goodwill they had built in each other for decades, their rapport flourished and grew into a business partnership in 2004.

They sent funds to each other for personal investments and joint ventures in Nigeria and in the US.

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But in the unsavoury turn of events, the previously trusted relatives now accuse each other of fraud, greed, deception, and extortion. The CBN governor, who vehemently denied wrongdoing, said the suit currently “is simply another attempt to extort $36 million” from him.

Zenith Bank stock investments

In 2004, Mr Omoile said he paid Mr Emefiele $50,000 for the purchase of an Initial Public Offering (IPO) investment in Zenith Bank in Nigeria, where Mr Emefiele was then an official.

In 2007, Mr Omoile received 200,000 additional shares from Mr Emefiele as a gift.

Mr Emefiele became the managing director of Zenith Bank in 2010 and the governor of the CBN in 2014.

Mr Omoile said he often raised questions but has yet to get an answer about the wide range of issues, including dividends issued, but not paid, the prices at which certain stock shares were supposedly acquired for him, “and the prices at which Defendant Emefiele actually acquired the shares.”

He accused Mr Emefile of continuing to “use his position as former Managing Director and current Governor of the Bank of Nigeria to actively prevent Plaintiff Omoile from getting a full and accurate accounting for his shares.”

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Mr Emefiele and a contentious oil and gas partnership

In a related development, Mr Omoile recalled that in 2007, he, Mr Emefiele and one Pius Oyibo signed a tripartite agreement in Coppell, Texas, to form an oil and gas company on 7 December 2007. The proposed firm, called Noka Energy Nigeria Limited, was to buy, sell and transport petroleum products in Nigeria.

Mr Omoile recalled that he made several trips and several contacts on behalf of the partnership to Houston, the Caribbean, and Nigeria to meet with oil and gas executives.

He recalled Mr Emefiele’s investment into the venture to include $200,000 sent to him for the purchase of 10 truck heads from LKQ in Houston for the partnership.

He said he bought the truck heads, the number not specified, and shipped them to Nigeria, for the business.

He said he would later discover that Mr Emefiele did not incorporate Noka Energy Nigeria Limited as agreed, but instead formed Dummies Oil and Gas for himself.

Real estate business

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In 2006, while the other business discussions between them were going on, they formed a partnership called Rosewood Malcom LLC which would buy, sell and develop real estate properties in the US.

The business plan, according to Mr Omoile, included him taking mortgages in his name for the benefit of the joint venture.

He said profit and loss were to be shared equally between the partners, but that that was not the case eventually.

He said once the joint venture started, profits were shared, however, losses were left for him to bear.

According to him, the venture acquired a property at 7026 W. 43rd Street, Houston Texas, for $141,000.

He also said he took a personal mortgage in his name for $167,000 from Wachovia Bank.

He recalled that as the properties’ market value crashed during the US economic meltdown between 2008 and 2009, he continued to be responsible for the substantial financial burden of mortgage servicing without any help or assistance from Mr Emefiele.

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He added that he purchased a property in 2008 in Coppell with $360,000 sent by Mr Emefiele.

But he said he was bearing the tax liabilities on the properties from his personal business accounts. According to him, the total personal loss he incurred for the real estate partnership and out-of-pocket expenses meant to be paid by Mr Emefiele was at least $500,000.

Mr Emefiele offers defence

Mr Emefiele has yet to formally file a defence to the suit, but his side of the story can be gleaned from the troves of documents he attached as exhibits to his preliminary court filings.

In a letter dated 17 January 2022, Mr Emefiele’s lawyer, Nitor Egbarin, denied the allegations raised in previous ‘legal demand’ letters which Mr Omoile’s lawyer, Donald Kaiser Jr, sent directly to the CBN governor.

In the strongly-worded letter, Mr Egbarin said his client was not involved in the management of Mr Omoile’s Zenith Bank’s shares and could not have blocked access to the records of the investments.

He said the fact that Mr Omoile used the CBN governor’s business address as his contact address for receiving his brokerage account statement “is not a proof that my client had legal responsibility for managing John’s money in the brokerage account.”

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He said his client is no longer the Managing director of Zenith Bank and is not Mr Omoile’s stockbroker.

“Your legal demand must be directed at John to provide you with his Zenith Bank accounts which he opened in Agbor and in Lagos. Proceeds from John’s brokerage account are deposited into John’s bank accounts in Lagos and in Agbor,” the letter read in part.

Also denying his client’s alleged breach of financial obligation to their real estate venture, Mr Egbarin went down memory lane, highlighting Mr Emefiele’s investments in the venture and financial assistance he had rendered to Mr Omoile.

He recalled that in 2006, Mr Omoile took out $200,000, using a pre-signed cheque, from Mr Emefiele’s bank account, and never accounted for the money meant to be used for estate development in Houston.

He said instead of using the money to develop the Houston property, Mr Omoile and his wife, on 17 January 2007, took out a $167,650 construction mortgage with Wachovia Mortgage.

He also recalled Mr Emefiele sent another $40,000 to Mr Omoile in 2009 for the purchase of a second real estate property on the plot next to the first property in Houston.

Tired of the frustrations from the investments, Mr Emefiele, according to his lawyer, decided to stop providing financial support to Mr Omoile in 2012.

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But, the lawyer said, with a settlement agreement the brothers-in-law singed on 26 April 2014, Mr Emefiele agreed to relinquish all his rights in the two properties in Houston to Mr Omoile valued at over $207,650.

He said Mr Emefiele also paid off the Wachovia Mortgage balance of about $155,000.

He said the CBN governor also sent $250,000 requested by Mr Omoile to clear unpaid income tax in 2020.

He said, from 2006 to 2020, Mr Omoile had received at least $645,000 in cash in financial support from Mr Emefiele.

But he did not address the issue of the failed oil and gas business plan.

‘No more free food’

Mr Egbarin’s letter went beyond defending his client. It was an unsparing frenzied personal attack on Mr Omoile and his lawyer.

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The letter describes Mr Emefiele as “a wealthy banker” and former chief executive officer of “the largest bank in Nigeria and West Africa” who has been “a generous donor, benefactor and breadwinner” to Mr Omoile over the years.

The CBN governor, according to the letter, “took care of John (Mr Omoile) as one would do of a brother-in-law,” providing “financial support to John and his wife and his children over the years.”

In a rather demeaning manner highlighting how much the relationship between the in-laws has soured, Mr Egbarin said his client was no longer prepared to continue to feed Mr Omoile. “You should advise John that my client does not wish to continue to feed him. John should pursue other means to make a living rather than continue to shakedown my client for more financial support.”

Turning on Mr Kaiser, Mr Egbarin accused him of incompetence and of having little understanding of the area of law he was handling for Mr Omoile.

He also accused the lawyer of making false claims about Mr Emefiele and of unethical practice by bypassing him to write directly to the CBN governor.

He said Mr Emefiele, on becoming the CBN governor, became a target for a lawsuit in Nigeria engaged by Mr Omoile for “harassment demanding monies for matters that had been settled in the 2014 Settlement Agreement.”

He said the letters of demand sent severally to Mr Emefiele to account for Mr Omoile’s shares is “an attempt to shakedown/extort my client for money.”

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He ended the letter with a devastating salvo to Mr Omoile. “Finally, there is still nothing more my client will do for John. The gravy train has come to a stop.”

Members of the larger family called a series of peace meetings attended by the brothers-in-law to settle their disputes.

The meetings were held in Nigeria. Some of the meetings were also held via Zoom.

They finally reached an agreement in 2014.

With the hope of getting “relief from the mounting debts” resulting from the real estate losses since 2007, Mr Omile said, he signed the agreement with Mr Emefiele on 26 April 2014.

But both sides have accused each other of violating the agreements.

The family also again called a series of Zoom meetings to resolve the disputes in April 2020.

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But in what would be the last straw, according to Mr Omoile, Mr Emefiele declared through his wife, Margaret, who represented him at one of the Zoom meetings, that there was never an intention to form and operate a joint oil and gas firm.

Mr Omoile said he realised then that he had been “induced with false statements and promises” to enter into a partnership with Mr Emefiele. He also said he realised that Mr Emefiele “never intended to follow through with his past promises”.

Unending Legal battle: Emefiele Vs Omoile

With settlement talks over, Mr Omoile took the decision to sue Mr Emefiele after the Zoom meetings in 2020.

In July 2021, he hired a Texas attorney, Kenneth Onyenah, who filed the suit claiming economic and actual damages against Mr Emefiele for the losses he allegedly incurred as a result of the CBN governor’s alleged failure to fulfil his financial obligations to him and their joint ventures.

He filed the suit at the US District Court of the Northern District of Texas.

But shortly after the filing, the lawyer withdrew the suit.

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Mr Omoile said the lawyer withdrew the suit without prior communication or his authority in August 2021.

He added that the lawyer took the step after he was threatened by Mr Emefiele’s lawyer, Mr Egbarin. But Mr Egbarin said the lawyer withdrew the case after realising it had no merit.

Later in 2021, Mr Omoile hired Donald Kaiser Jr. to reopen the case.

On 12 May 2022, Mr Kaiser refiled the suit at the 68th Judicial District Court in Dallas County, Texas.

But following Mr Emefiele’s objection, the suit was removed from the state court “on the basis of diversity jurisdiction” to a federal court, the US District Court of the Northern District of Texas.

A new lawyer named Ewomazino Magbegor is now representing Mr Emefiele following the refiling of the case.

Mr Magbebor is the second lawyer known on record to have defended the CBN governor in the matter in the US. From Mr Egbarin’s letter, the plaintiff, Mr Omoile, has engaged at least three lawyers in respect of the case.

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Mr Emefiele’s new lawyer, in November 2022, filed an application to challenge the service of the suit on the CBN governor through substituted means. He also sought the dismissal of the suit on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction on the matter.

The court’s decision on the application will determine the future of the case.

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