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MR. GRANT KAYODE YANKEY v. FLORENCE AUSTIN

(2020) LPELR-49540(CA)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Wednesday, the 18th day of March, 2020

CA/L/954/2016


Before Their Lordships

MOHAMMED LAWAL GARBA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

UGOCHUKWU ANTHONY OGAKWU Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

JAMILU YAMMAMA TUKUR Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

MR. GRANT KAYODE YANKEY - Appellant(s)

AND

FLORENCE AUSTIN - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Matrimonial causes.

FACTS:
This is an appeal against the judgment of the High Court of Lagos State in SUIT NO. ID/1207/2012.

The Respondent and Appellant were man and wife before the Respondent commenced proceedings for the dissolution of the marriage in the Family Court Division of the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, County of Hennepin, State of Minnesota, United States of America.  The husband did not contest the dissolution of the marriage. They entered into a Marital Termination Agreement. The Court entered judgment in terms of the Marital Termination Agreement. There was no plenary trial, no evidence was adduced. Their homestead at 4104 Lakeside Avenue, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota was awarded to her exclusively.

However, there is a property in Nigeria situate at No. 12, Femi Akinfolarin Street, off Association Avenue Road, Ikotun, Lagos. The Respondent commenced proceedings in the High Court of Lagos State in respect of the said property. The proceedings were in SUIT NO. ID/1207/2012: FLORENCE AUSTIN vs. MR. GRANT KAYODE YANKEY. The Respondent herein, was the Claimant in the action. She claimed the following reliefs against the Appellant herein as Defendant:
"(a) A Declaration that the Claimant is entitled with the Defendant to equal share of the property lying, being and situate at No 12, Femi Akinfolarin Street, Off Association Avenue Road, Ikotun Lagos State and covered by Certificate of Occupancy dated 21st day of August, 1990 and registered as 55/55/1990Y, in the Land Registry at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos State, containing 2 Wings of 8 Bedroom duplex each and its appurtenances thereof.
(b) An Order of Court partitioning equally the property lying, being and situate at No. 12, Femi Akinfolarin Street, Off Association Avenue Road, Ikotun Lagos State and covered by Certificate of Occupancy dated 21st day of August, 1990 and registered as 55/55/1990Y, in the Land Registry at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos State, containing 2 Wings of 8 Bedroom duplex each and its appurtenances thereof between the Claimant and the Defendant herein.
(c) An Order of Court that the Claimant is entitled to 1 Wing 8 Bedroom Duplex together with its appurtenances, being half of the property lying, being and situate at 12, Femi Akinfolarin Street, Off Association Avenue Road, Ikotun Lagos State and covered by Certificate of Occupancy dated 21st day of August, 1990 and registered as 55/55/1990Y, in the Land Registry at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos State, containing 2 Wings of 8 Bedroom duplex each and its appurtenances.
(d) An order of Court mandating the Defendant to do all that may be required legally to enable the Claimant perfect her title to the 1 wing 8 Bedroom Duplex together with its appurtenances, being half of the property lying, being and situate at No. 12, Femi Akinfolarin Street, Off Association Avenue Road, Ikotun Lagos State and covered by Certificate of Occupancy dated 21st day of August, 1990 and registered as 55/55/1990Y, in the Land Registry at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos State."

Issues were joined on the pleadings filed and exchanged by the parties. The matter was subjected to a full dressed hearing. Testimonial and documentary evidence was adduced. In its judgment the trial Court, Coram Judice: Akinkugbe, J. entered judgment in her favour. All the reliefs claimed were granted.

Aggrieved by the decision of the trial Court, the Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.

ISSUES:
The appeal was determined on the following issues viz:
1. WHETHER a Court in the United States of America has the prerequisite jurisdiction to make an order affecting a property situate in Lagos, especially when there was no claim in respect of the property before it.
2. WHETHER the Court below was right in granting the reliefs sought by the Respondent having regards to the law and the preponderance of evidence before the Honourable Court.

DECISION/HELD:
On the whole, the appeal was allowed.


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