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DOMICILE IS THE BASIS OF JURISDICTION IN MATRIMONIAL CAUSES

Dictum

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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COST NOT AWARDED IN MATRIMONIAL MATTER

This being a matrimonial matter it is not in the interest of justice to award costs in this case, each party should bear his or her own costs.

— M.O. Onalaja, 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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MATRIMONIAL ISSUES CANNOT BE BROUGHT VIA THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS RULES

The application for the enforcement of the Appellant’s fundamental rights to personal property, family and private life, dignity of her person and against discrimination was brought at the trial Court in subtle way to settle the Appellant’s matrimonial dispute with her estranged husband and brother-in-law, respectively the 1st and 2nd Respondents herein. The Appellant had ingenuously crafted an otherwise matrimonial causes matter to fit into the special procedure offered by the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules (FREPR). That special procedure, on the peculiar facts of this case, does not avail her to ventilate her matrimonial dispute.

— Ejembi Eko, JSC. Nwachukwu v Nwachukwu (2018) – SC.601/2013

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

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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MAINTENANCE IN DIVORCE CASES

LUMSDEN v. LUMSDEN (1963) 5 FLR 388, the Supreme court of Victoria said on the issue of award of maintenance and I quote from 392 thus: “Maintenance is intended to provide for the needs of the wife and not mark disapproval of the husband’s conduct.”

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FACTORS THAT WILL DETERMINE AWARD OF MAINTENANCE – MATRIMONIAL

It seems to me that given the state of civilization, we have reached in this country today and bearing in mind, the emancipation of the women folks into the sold orbit of financial empire in this country today, it seems to be that the sum, if any, to be awarded for the maintenance of a party to a matrimonial proceeding or even the child or children of the marriage should be determined by among other facts: “(1) the stations in life of the parties and their lifestyles, (2) their respective means, (3) the existence or non-existence of child or children of the marriage, and (4) the conduct of the parties.”

– ADEREMI, J.C.A. Mueller v. Mueller (2005)

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