A. FATAYI-WILLIAMS, JSC (Delivering the Leading Judgment): On 21st June, 1967, the petitioner, a surgeon, went through a form or ceremony of marriage with the respondent at the Marriage Registry at Lagos. After the said ceremony, the parties lived and cohabited together at the petitioner's flat on the Lagos University Teaching Hospital Campus, Surulere, Lagos, until 28th June, 1967, when the respondent left for London where she stayed for three months to undergo an in-service training course arranged for her by the Nigerian Prison Service. She returned to Nigeria on 27th September, 1967, and a male child by name Osadebamwen was born by her on 18th January, 1968. The child is still living.
On 6th July, 1968, the petitioner filed a divorce petition in the Benin High Court (Suit No. B/22/68) praying:-
(1) that the marriage in fact celebrated between him and the respondent might be declared null and void;
(2) that the petitioner be granted custody of the said child of the, marriage; and…