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BURDEN OF PROOF ON HE WHO ASSERTS THAT DOMICILE OF ORIGIN IS LOST

Dictum

The burden of proving that a domicile has been chosen in substitution for the domicile of origin is on the person who asserts that the domicile of origin is lost – the intention must be proved with perfect clearness. Winans v. A.G. (1904) AC 287 at 290; Bhojwani v. Bhojwani (1995) 7 NWLR (Pt.407) 349.

— O.O. Adekeye, JCA. Omotunde v. Omotunde (2000) – CA/I/M.57/2000

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DOMICILE OF ORIGIN

Domicile of Origin. This is the first type of Domicile everybody acquires. It is the domicile of a person at birth derived from the custodial parents or imposed by law. Everybody at birth becomes a member of both a political and of a civil society, the former determines his political status or nationality, and the latter determines his civil status. The law which governs the civil society into which he is born the law of his country of domicile, is attached to his person and remains so attached wherever he goes, unless and untill he ceases to be a member of that society and he can only cease to be a member of that society by becoming a member of another civil society and so acquires a new domicile referred to as domicile of choice – the law of which becomes attached to him in that manner. A domicile of origin is retained until a fresh one is acquired. It is never destroyed, but remains in abeyance where a new domicile is chosen, and revives and comes again into operation when the new domicile is abandoned and then endures until a new domicile is acquired.

— O.O. Adekeye, JCA. Omotunde v. Omotunde (2000) – CA/I/M.57/2000

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DOMICILE OF CHOICE

Domicile of Choice – A domicile established by physical presence within a State or territory coupled with the intention to make it home. A person over the age of 21 other than a married woman or insane person may acquire a domicile of choice. In order to achieve this two conditions must be fulfilled- (1) Residence in the country; (2) There must be an intention to reside there permanently or at least indefinitely.

— O.O. Adekeye, JCA. Omotunde v. Omotunde (2000) – CA/I/M.57/2000

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DEFINITION OF DOMICILE

Black’s Law Dictionary Seventh Edition simply defines Domicile as the place at which a person is physically present and that the person regards as home, a person’s true, fixed, principal, and permanent home to which that person intends to return and remain even though currently residing elsewhere – same is also termed permanent abode. Every person has a domicile at all times, and no one has more than one domicile at once. Black’s Law Dictionary Seventh Edition defines a Residence as – (1) the act of fact of living in a given place for sometime a year’s residence. (2) The place where one actually lives as distinguished from a domicile. Whereas Residence usually just means bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given place, domicile usually requires bodily presence plus an intention to make the place one’s home. A person thus may have more than one residence at a time but only one domicile. Though the term domicile and residence are used synonymously. (3) The place where a corporation or other enterprise does business or is registered to do business. (4) A house or fixed abode.

— O.O. Adekeye, JCA. Omotunde v. Omotunde (2000) – CA/I/M.57/2000

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DOMICILE IS THE BASIS OF JURISDICTION IN MATRIMONIAL CAUSES

The basis of jurisdiction in matrimonial causes under the Matrimonial Causes Act, 1970, is domicile. It is the domicile of a person that confers jurisdiction on the court to entertain his or her petition for dissolution of marriage. Where the domicile of a petitioner is not established the court will lack jurisdiction to decree a dissolution of marriage.

— O.O. Adekeye, JCA. Omotunde v. Omotunde (2000) – CA/I/M.57/2000

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ORDER NISI & DOMICILE

The court cannot grant an order nisi without resolving the issue of Domicile.

— O.O. Adekeye, JCA. Omotunde v. Omotunde (2000) – CA/I/M.57/2000

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