This is a probate case, but involves a complicated family history, where it was unclear whether a valid marriage had taken place.
Whilst rare it is surprising how often this is an issue, particularly with marriages taking place over seas or through certain religious ceremonies. For example it isn't all that long ago since I was in the position of trying to establish whether a Pagan marriage taking place in America was valid.
The key lesson from the judgement in this case, is how important it is to ensure the court has all of the evidence it needs to decide the case. If you don't give evidence in support of your position, then the judge does not have the full picture when deciding what they believe to be the most likely chain of events.
This applies regardless of the area of law being covered, be it probate, divorce or separation after cohabitation.
The main question raised by these proceedings was whether or not Mr Akinola and the deceased were lawfully married. There was no dispute between the parties that a family gathering had taken place that day. The critical issue was whether or not any ceremony had taken place which amounted to a marriage in native and customary law.