Drama of COURT WEDDING (1)

(Barr. Ojulari and Mr. Mellow have stopover at Dubai Airport on their way to perform Hajj, they all alighted from the plane with the other passengers. They sat in a restaurant at the airport to drink some soft drinks.)

MR. MELLOW: Wow! I cannot believe, what am I seeing? you can’t believe I opened my Instagram app now, and I saw this. (He gives the phone to Barr. Ojulari to read from the screen)

BARR. OJULARI: Unbelievable, so, a celebrity’s husband went to Instagram to announce the broken down of their marriage. Huh! Do they think we are still in the movies?

MR. MELLOW: Why would you say that? We are talking about someone’s home for that matter, I even pity the both of them because their marriage has once been some people’s prayer point.

BARR. OJULARI: I think the prayer point is still active, it just won’t be what it used to be! I must tell you, what that woman’s husband did holds no water if they both did court wedding, they can’t just go separately like that.

MR. MELLOW: Though it was reported that they had their wedding ceremony secretly in 2016 in London, but I doubt if it was a court wedding. But even if it was a court wedding, what do you have to say on it?

BARR. OJULARI: Any of the couple that is no more interested in court wedding, or Marriage under the act must approach an High court of any state in Nigeria with DIVORCE PETITION to seek a decree of dissolution of marriage[1], if not, they are just having game of words!

MR. MELLOW: Huh! Approaching a Court with Divorce petition as how? When they can both sign divorce papers and all will be done! Shikena!

BARR. OJULARI: (Laugh hysterically) Signing of divorce petition to end a court marriage can only happen in the movies, there is nothing like that in the real life. Anyone who wants to opt out of a court marriage must do so with a court order. In fact, it is also applicable to the one that is celebrated in a licensed place of worship.

MR. MELLOW: Na wa for Court wedding o.

BARR. OJULARI: In fact, there is nothing like court wedding, the proper name for it is MARRIAGE UNDER THE Act, or you call it STATUTORY MARRIAGE. The one who feels aggrieved and wants the marriage to be dissolved must submit his/her evidence and testimonies to the Court. So the petitioner must establish any of the facts provided by the law[2] before the court can dissolve the marriage.

MR. MELLOW: So, if any of the submitted facts is not compatible with what the law says, the court will not dissolve the marriage!

BARR. OJULARI: Yes, The court cannot dissolve a marriage even if it appears to have broken down irretrievably unless one of the facts provided by the law is established [3]

MR. MELLOW: Really! But I will like to know those facts that are provided by the law.

BARR. OJULARI: Those facts are many in numbers, and the petitioner has to prove any of them. Those fact will be proving that the marriage has been broken down irretrievably. For example, if the petitioner can prove that his/her partner has committed adultery, and he/she does not find it tolerable to live with the partner again [4]

MR. MELLOW: Adultery!

BARR. OJULARI: Yes! Also, if both of them have lived apart for a continuous period of at least two years[5] or three years[6] immediately before the petitioner starts the court action.

MR. MELLOW: Is that all?

BARR. OJULARI: Huh! Those facts are eight in numbers, I have just told you a few. Another one is if either them refuses to have sexual intercourse with the other after the marriage [7]

MR. MELLOW: How will a wife or husband refuse to consummate the marriage and will expect it to last? But what about the children of the marriage, whose name will they be using as their surname after divorce?

BARR. OJULARI: Nigeria is a patrilineal and not a matrilineal society, a child takes his father’s name as surname, not their mothers[8].

MR. MELLOW: Can a wife seek for the decree of dissolution of marriage from the court because her husband is beating her and vice versa ?

BARR. OJULARI: Yes, any of the couple can seek for divorce because the partner has intentionally inflicted grievous harm on the other[9]. It can also be requested if either of them becomes a habitual drunker[10], or attempt to murder of unlawfully kill the other partner [11]

MR. MELLOW: What if…?

BARR. OJULARI: (interrupting) If what? Are you part of their family? Abeg no stress me more, they are even calling us to enter plane. Omoh! Lemme rest small na Hajj I dey go, no be court!

MR. MELLOW: (laughs) I know all your anger is because you’re giving these legal advice free of charge

BARR. OJULARI: Na you sabi!

(They both left the restaurant to join the queue of their fellow passengers that are about to board Airplane)

To be continued, If God wishes


[1]. Section 2 (3) of the Matrimonial Cause Act, Cap M7, Laws of Federation
[2]. Section 15 (2) (a-h) of the Matrimonial Cause Act, Cap M7, Laws of Federation
[3]. Okojie V. Okojie (unreported) suit no WD/21/7 or 10/3/76; See also Damulak V. Damulak (2004) 8 NWLR (Pt. 874) 151.
[4]. Ibid., Section 15 (2) (b)
[5].Ibid., Section 15 (2)
[6]. Ibid.,Section 15 (2) (f) ; See also, the Judgment of the Court of Appeal in the case of DR. JOSHUA OMOTUNDE v. MRS. YETUNDE OMOTUNDE (2000) JELR 43943 (CA)
[7]. Ibid., Section 15 (2) (a)
[8]. Mueller V. Mueller (2006) 6 NWLR (Pt. 977) 627
[9]. Ibid.,Section 16 (ii)
[10]. Ibid.,Section 16 (b) (ii)
[11]. Ibid.,Section 16 (b) (i)

In case you missed the previous episodes, you can access it through this link 👉https://www.facebook.com/164898870886587/posts/985207718855694/?app=fbl

ABDULRAUF Abdullahi Adebayo, is a Law student, a Certified Teacher , a Content Creator , a Dynamic Writer and a Ghost Writer. He can be reached via +2349034904883 and [email protected]

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