My husband and I live in Oyo State but I don’t want people to know that I want to divorce my husband. Can I file a divorce action against him in Kano?


Yes. A divorce suit could be filed in any state within Nigeria, irrespective of where the parties reside. But if the respondent objects to the jurisdiction of the Kano High Court probably on the basis of inconvenience[1] of long distance and cost implication of attending the court, the Kano court may decline to handle the case, and transfer it to a court in the state where the couple reside or closer to their place of abode.

On the other hand, if a husband, for example, lives in Zaria, while his wife lives in Ibadan, and if it is the wife who wants to file a divorce suit, such suit may better be filed in the state where the respondent (i.e. the husband) resides.

Excerpt from What the Law Says About Marriage and Divorce by Kehinde Adegbite.

[1]. In Adegoroye v. Adegoroye (1996) 2 NWLR Pt. 433, 712, the Court of Appeal held that it was wrong for the trial court at Benin to have refused to transfer the case to Lagos on the basis that a State High Court lacked power to do inter-State transfer. Akintan JCA (as he then was) in Adegoroye case stated thus, “It was an injudicious exercise of the court’s discretion for the learned trial Judge to have refused to transfer the divorce proceedings from Benin City to Lagos […] the trial court is hereby directed to transfer the Petition and cross-petition in this suit now pending before it to the High Court of Lagos State for hearing and determination there.”