A. FATAYI-WILLIAMS, J.S.C. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): This case originated in the Oleh Customary Court in the Mid-Western State of Nigeria where the plaintiff (now respondent) claimed against the defendant (now appellant) as follows:
"Return of plaintiff's wife called Lucky Onumerulu Ukperi detained at Emede by the defendant since December, 1968, despite demands for her return."
It is common ground that Lucky Onumerulu Ukperi is the daughter of the defendant who disputed the claim in his testimony before the Customary Court. After considering all the evidence adduced before it, the Customary Court made the following observation with respect to the testimony of the plaintiff and his witnesses:
"It is court's opinion that before marriage can be established according to Isoko general custom, consent of the girl and the parents must be first of all sought and gained by son-in-law for some number of days through a middleman or representative who must be a native or chief of the are…