MS. TITILOLA SANNI v. LUKMAN MABINUORI (2014)

MS. TITILOLA SANNI v. LUKMAN MABINUORI
(2014) LCN/6979(CA)
RATIO
WHETHER A LOWER COURT CAN MODIFY THE EFFECT OF AN ORDER FOR ACCESS OF A CHILD TO A NON-CUSTODIAL PARENT
Obviously, this appeal is easily determined because there is nothing to modify, and no consequential orders to make. Sure, the combined effect of Sections 71(4) and 73(1)(j)(ii) of the Matrimonial Causes Act is that the lower Court can modify the effect of an order for access of a child to a non-custodial parent, even if the order was made by another Court. But in this case, the Order made by Hon. Justice A. O. Adefope-Okojie in Suit No.ID/219/HD/97 was very clear the Respondent was granted custody of the children but the Appellant was to be allowed access to them at holidays and as and when agreed by the parties.
The word ‘access’ also means visitation and “visitation” in family law is “a relative’s, especially a non-custodial parent’s period of access to a child” – see Blacks’ Law Dictionary, 8th Ed. Adefope-Okojie, J., of the same High Court made an order allowing the Appellant unsupervised access to her two children, and if the Respondent misconstrued the order to mean access to the children, which he supervised at Apapa Club, Mr. Bigg’s Eatery, International Airport, Area F Police Station in Ikeja, and Tantalizer Eatery along Allen Avenue, Ikeja, as he admitted in his Counter-Affidavit, then he violated the order and she can come after him for disobeying a Court Order but not by way of this Application.Indeed, Nwaka, J., was right to say that the Order of Adefope-Okojie, J., “speaks for itself” and refuse to use his powers “to alter and expatiate on it”. As I said, there is nothing to modify, and the Application filed by the Appellant at the lower Court is the wrong way to get the Respondent to obey the order. Per AMINA ADAMU AUGIE, J.C.A.