A Case to Follow?: What would be the impact on Nigeria Matrimonial Law if…

A man is compelling an arbiter in this case a church to take a point of view against divorce.

He is saying the church MUST counsel against divorce. One of the retrograde views in Nigeria that leads to the death of untold number of spouses at the hand of their spouses.

The reconciliation clause in the Matrimonial Causes Act is bad enough. Representing counsel who needs to be objective frequently subjects self to marital mediation.

In Nigeria its safe to conclude that by the time has come to a lawyer seeking divorce they have exhausted church and family channels for reconciliation. Its the nature of the society.

There is little value in requiring counsel to call both parties and mediate if either of said party has taken an informed decision to quit the union. It only delays the evil day or sometimes leads to a preventable fatality.

It also clouds the counsels objectivity to sit through hours of frequently acrimonious and emotionally charged exchanges between divorcing parties prior to pleading and trial. A lawyer represents the person paying his fee.

It is unconscionable that said lawyer be first required to be impartial ‘judge’ preserving the sanctity of a union that has irretrievably broken down.

Mediation is only appropriate in facilitating non acrimonious dissolution. Each lawyers objective should be the protection of their clients rights in the action sought – dissolution, custody, separation, maintenance etc. Its not our business to mediate reconciliation. That’s up to the parties. Don’t play God.

If the parties are contesting then it should be done in front of a judge as impartial umpire. He’s paid to play God. Like the judge in this matter. Of course the church is rich so probability is they’ll prevail because they just have more resources. Hopefully the petitioners cause won’t find too much support.

I’m glad to read of at least one progressive church.



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