RATIO DECIDENDI
1. COURT - DUTY OF COURT: Courts duty to order and assess maintainance of a
wife and child.

"Section 70(a) gives the Court the discretionary power to order and assess
maintenance of a party, it is not likened to a claim for special damages where the
claimant must strictly prove his entitlement to such award before same can be
awarded by the court as submitted by the appellant's Counsel." The Matrimonial
Causes Act Cap 220 LFN 1990 provides for the principles to guide the Court in
assessment of maintenance under Section 70 thus:- "(1) Subject to this Section,
the Court may, in proceedings with respect to the maintenance of a party to a
marriage, or of children of the marriage, other than proceedings for an order for
maintenance pending the disposal of proceedings, make such order as it thinks
proper, having regard to the means, earning capacity and conduct of the parties
to the marriage and all other relevant circumstances. (3) The court may make an
order for the maintenance of a party notwithstanding that a decree is or has been
made against that party in the proceedings to which the proceedings with respect
to maintenance are related." Per ABOKI, J.C.A. (P. 15, paras. B-G) (...read in
context)

2. INTERPRETATION OF STATUTE - MATRIMONIAL CAUSES ACT: Interpretation of
Section 70(1) of the Matrimonial Causes Act

"A literal interpretation of Section 70(1) of the Matrimonial Causes Act will reveal
that the sum to be awarded for maintenance of a wife and child of the marriage

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