Man Spends Night in Police Custody for Failing to Refund Bride Price

A man in Soroti district spent Monday night in Police custody for allegedly failing to refund the bride price he recieved from his in-laws. Joseph Eyou, a resident of Agule Village, Aukot Sub County was put behind bars at Aoja Police Post when he failed to refund four cows, a goat, and one hundred thousand Shillings to his son-in-law, Raphael Enebu. 

Enebu married Eyou’s daughter, Jesca Akiriat, 23, in 2019 and the couple has a child. But the relationship went sour leading to their separation. Information on the ground indicates that Akiriat left her marital home in May this year citing infidelity. According to Godfrey Ojore, the leader of the Atekok- Ikaalen clan where Eyou comes from, the in-laws took the matter to the Police whose intervention led to the arrest of Eyou.

He said that Enebu wanted to remarry and approached his father-in-law for a refund of his bride price. “Unfortunately, the old man had used the bride price. He asked the son-in-law (Enebu) to wait until his wife (Akiriat) also remarries to get back the bride price. This didn’t go well with Enebu who contacted the Police for help”, Ojore said.

Eyou was released on Tuesday afternoon following the intervention of the Police Professional Standards Unit- PSU who rushed to Aoja Police Post on a tip-off from concerned residents. Oscar Gregg Ageca, the East Kyoga Regional Police Spokesman, said that he had not yet received details of the case to comment on the matter. 

In 2015, The Supreme Court of Uganda declared it illegal to demand a refund of the bride price. The 6-1 judgment ruled that a man doesn’t have the right to claim a repayment from his spouse’s family if the marriage ends. However, some men in Teso still demand a refund of the bride price after the dissolution of the marriage, especially in rural communities.

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