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The research concentrated on the cultural environment and the performance of Civil Service in Ebonyi State in order to find solutions to the abysmal performance facing civil service in the state. The objectives of the study were to find out the extent to which the custom of the people of Ebonyi State contributes to performance of the civil service in Ebonyi State; to ascertain the impact of societal values of civil servants performance in Ebonyi State Civil Service; and to investigate how the belief systems of the people of Ebonyi State contribute to performance of Ebonyi State Civil Service. Data for the study were generated from both primary and secondary sources. Structured questionnaire was used to generate data used to investigate the research questions. The Questionnaire was analyzed based on percentages and was subjected subsequently to statistical tool analysis, using Chi-Square to test the hypotheses. Hypotheses tested showed the following results: that there is a significant relationship between customs of the people of Ebonyi State and the performance of Ebonyi State Civil Service; that societal values of civil servants have significant impact on the performance of Ebonyi State Civil Service; that there is significant relationship between the belief system of civil servants and performance of Ebonyi State Civil Service. The research major findings after analysis of data were: that customs of civil servants is co-related to performance; that societal values of civil servants impact on performance; and that beliefs system of civil servants has relationship with performance. Therefore, it is recommended that Government should organize seminars and workshops on work ethics and right values in Ebonyi State Civil Service; there should be enforcement of policy of right behaviour acceptable in civil service by the government of Ebonyi State in order to get rid of the negative attitudes in the civil service; government should evolve measures that will re-orient the belief system of Civil servants; there should be a motivational measures put in place by government; government of Ebonyi State in conjunction wilt National Orientation Agency should sensitize Civil servants on the need to imbibe good values, be obedient to constituted hierarchy and value their work for effective and efficient performance.



1.1       Background of the Study

On a general note, marriage is seen as a consensual union usually between two adults of opposite sex[1]. This union is legally and socially sanctioned and is governed by rules, laws, customs, attitudes and beliefs which stipulate the rights and duties of the partners and accords status to their offering (if any)[2] T he peculiarities of marriage differ from society and from culture, hence, concept of marriage is relative along those lines.

While some cultures or societies views marriage as an institution which provides companionship sexual, economic production and consumption, others view it as a means of procreation, the care of children, their education and socialization, and regulation of lines of descent. In the western countries, marriage is not actually seen from the same perspective as in the African setting. In the West, marriage is most often the way to secure the right of the partners with respect to each other, and to ensure the right of and define those of their children.[4]

Thus, in African setting, marriage strongly concerns procreation and survival of the retention of the line of descent of the man. However, when a marriage is broken down irretrievable the cause of maintenance occurs. Thus, the law on maintenance of marriage is embedded in the M.C.A[5] it deals with the making of order for maintenance, custody and settlement. Maintenance in matrimonial proceedings implies the duty to provide for the needs of the members of the family which duty is enforceable by an order of the court where necessary.

Thus, the concept of maintenance of marriage is traceable to common law where in a husband was Obliged to maintain his wife as part of his matrimonial duties. During that period a wife was at liberty to pledge her husband’s credit in procuring the needs of the family whenever, the husband deserted her without providing for her needs and maintenance. Especially where she had no means of supporting herself when her husband did not fulfill his legal obligation she has the right to seek for redress.

Since the invention of statute the concept of maintenance has been with statutory regulation and expanded to   accommodate husbands and beneficiaries of orders of maintenance. This was observed in the case of Olu Ibukun v Olu Ibukun. This means that either party to a statutory marriage may apply to court for an order of maintenance where the parties are unable to reach an agreement on the issue.

Ordinarily parties to a marriage can make an agreement for maintenance as between themselves on the terms they deem fit. Where the parties have no existing private agreement for maintenance between the parties to a marriage. However, the Matrimonial causes Act[7] clearly spelt out the rules which is guiding the grant of the relief of maintenance in respect of marriage contracted under the Act.


1.2       Statement of the Problem

One perennial problem of the Matrimonial causes Act is the peculiar nature of the society in which it is operating from inception. It has been emphatically said that the Matrimonial Causes Act is substantially borrowed from the Australian matrimonial causes Act. However, the matrimonial causes Act deals with the peculiar nature of the society. Thus, the provision seen in the matrimonial causes Act which addresses on situation where the society is highly monogamous, the wide rage of irretrievable break down and also the maintenance of the breakdown of marriage.

Due to the circumstance in which the society faces in term of dissolution of marriage which has resulted to a slightest friction and this warrant to the decree of maintenance.

1.3        Research Question

  1. What are the causes of marital crisis?
  2. What are the consequences of matrimonial face off?
  3. To what extent has matrimonial causes act contributed in resolving matrimonial separation?
  4. What is best solution in settling matrimonial conflict?
  5. Who has the burden of maintenance in matrimonial arrangement?

1.4      Aim and Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this long essay/Research is to: To know the causes of marital crises

  • To know the person that has the burden of maintenance in matrimonial arrangement
  • To evaluate the extent in which the matrimonial cause Act has contributed in resolving matrimonial separation.
  • To find out the legal consequences of maintenance under the matrimonial and causes Act.

–           To proffer solution in setting matrimonial conflict.

1.5       Scope of the Study

The work introduces the irretrievable break down principle then goes further to explain the meaning and nature of the subject matter, its characteristic and other concept of marriage. It also threw light in the maintenance of marriage and its consequences.    

1.6 Limitation of the Study      

The researcher encountered series of problems in the course of gathering materials for the project ranging from financial distress of data gathering from the following are the short comings that made this project work cumbersome.

1.7        Significance of the Study

The rate of divorce is increasing in our society. Marriage is for life time and should not be dissolved. This work will create awareness base on the maintenance of marriage. Its grounds and consequences. It will enlighten people on marriage and its sacredness will discourage the spouses when it comes to the dissolution of marriage. And also enlighten the spouses to know who has the burden of maintenance when a marriage is dissolved.

1.8 Research Methodology

This research will adopt doctrinal approach by this, textbook, law journals, law report materials from the internet and the holy bible was used.

  1. Financial capacity:

In the course of the project we met financial problems in order to package this work. The typesetting of the project work is very expensive, the transportation, to various places. In order to conduct interview in a financial confusion.

  1. The writer also had difficulties in interviewing married women. This is because they don’t want to leak the secret of their successful marriage.
  2. And most of the marriage men who the researcher met in the course of the interview has no time to answer the questions put to them reason being that they are busy.
  3. Time:

This was a big problem that the researcher faced. The time limit for the studies was very short.

  1. Religion is another problem that the researcher had. This is because most faith forbids discussing their marital life with infidels.
  2. Illiteracy:

Most of the people that were interviewed are not educated so it made it hard for them to comprehend to the question making the researcher to spend more money in the view of employing an interpreter.

1.9       Literature Review

The general perception is that marriage is purely a social affair. But this is not the whole truth of it, as it is regulated by statues thus bringing it into the realm of law. As a legal concept, marriage is governed and regulated by statutes such as the marriage Act[8] and matrimonial causes Act.[9] The fact of marriage being a legal concept makes it susceptible to the arrogance of not aligning itself to a single definition. Even at that, attempts have been made the proffer a definition to marriage as we shall subsequently observe.

1.9.1 Meaning of Marriage

Notwithstanding the Fact that marriage is an institution recognized and revered world over, its definition is dependent on the society in question and its cultural sensitivity[10] Lennartsris of the view that the legal regulation of marriage in different legal system is extremely varied. The difference in the condition and manner of entry into it as well   as the effect of marriage including possibility of the prerequisite or dissolution         or matrimonial bond   are so wide as to render it very difficult to establish any common denominator in terms of the law to all unions called marriage.[11]

Jonathan Hills, concurring with Lennarts, opined that it is impossible to provide a single definition of marriage because marriage is what the contracting parties intends it to mean to them. Nevertheless, marriage has been defined as the legal union of a couple as spouses.[13] This definition is rather too vague to properly grasp what the concept of marriage entails. It has also been viewed as the legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife[14] a relationship between married people, and the period for which it lasts.

Consent is saliently absent in this definition, thus making it defective. It is also circuitous as the word “married” was used to define marriage. According to the Longman dictionary, marriage is the relationship between two people who are married. The definition is flawed just as its predecessor. It is also the legally or formally recognized union of a man and woman. Marriage has been defined as a voluntary union usually between a man and woman, socially and legally sanctioned union that is regulated by law. Custom, beliefs and attitudes that prescribe the right and duties of partners and accords status of their off spring (if any).[15]

Furthermore, marriage is a binding contract between the two parties that joins together their possession, incomes and lives.[16] In ancient times marriage meant a condition in which was given to a man almost as a property and often as part of a political, social or business arrangement of some sort[17]. For must of human history, marriage was a permanent institution that once entered into, cannot be dissolved except by death of the spouses.[18]

In the modern world, however, marriage is said to be gathering of equals rather than subjugation of one to the other.[19] On the downside, it has been seen as what has often become much more temporary than it has been in the years past[20]. From the religious perspective has emerged a definition of marriage along line of denomination. In Islam, the Qur’an states that Allah created the male and female so they would live together in tranquility,[21] and enjoined men to adore their wives and vice versa.[22]

The holy book of the Christians likewise provides copiously, for marriage and its appurtenance. It states that at the beginning God made a man woman so they will unite to become one,[23] and further enjoins all the honour and keep the marriage bed pure. In other words, marriage is the unification of a man and a woman observed in the solemnization of the two in the congregation as they take certain rows to love and cherish one another and to stay knitted through sickness and health for better or worse.

In most cases, this agreement includes sexual faithfulness, and a promise that each will do what they can to make the other person happy[25]. It is hereby submitted that sexual exclusivity or faithfulness is a vital ingredients of the Christian marriage as the bible admonishes that the matrimonial bed be not defiled.[26] Marriage is therefore a sacred Christian rite, hence its inculcation into the cannon laws as a sacrament. Marriage in the Christendom is also relevant as it has both spiritual and indissoluble nature to it.

Hence it is stated to the covenant with God[27], and further that there be no separation except on grounds of adultery. Marriage given its social realities and relevance has also become a subject of sociologists and social anthologists have defined it with the product that they have not achieved a consensus on the definite meaning of marriage. Edward Watermark in this history of human marriage says;

Marriage is a relation of one or more men to one or more women which is recognized by custom or law and involving right and duties both in the case of the parties entering the union and in the case of children born of it Mazumdar, H.T in his “Grammar of sociology defines marriage as; A socially sanctioned union of a male and female or a secondary institution devised by society to sanction the union and mating of male and female for the purpose of;

  1. Establishing a household
  2. Entering into sexual relations,
  3. Procreating
  4.      Providing care for the offspring’[30]

Malinowski defined marriage as a contract for the production of and maintenance of children.   To   Horton   and   Hunt in   their   ”Sociology” marriage is “the approved social pattern whereby two or more persons establish a family. H.M Johnson defines marriage as a stable relationship in which a man and woman are socially permitted without loss of standing in the community to have children.

Therefore marriage to a sociologist or social anthropologist is a socially approved union of individual of opposite sexes with the expectation that they play their role of husband wife.-Marriage should not be treated simply as a biological mating, as it is social and cultural. As a legal concept, marriage has elicited opinions inform of judicial view and legal writing. It is the judicial stances that a valid marriage is that involving a man and a woman.

In the case of Hyde Vs Hyde.[32] It was stated that marriage may be defined as the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of others. Also in the case of Corbett Vs Corbett[33] the Court held that the marriage was invalid on the ground that both parties were male. The holding of the court above is notwithstanding the fact of the respondent having successfully, through a medical surgery.

Removed his test and created an artificial vagina. The decision of the court in Corbett’s case[34] was echoed by the court in the case of Bellinger VS Bellinger[35] To legal writer such as E.I. Nwogugu, marriage is a universal institution which is recognized and respected world over.[36] Sherriff Girgis, Robert George, Ryan T. Anderson, have all argued that marriage is the union of a man and woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other, of the type that is naturally fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together and renewed by acts that constitute the behavioural part of the process of reproduction.[37]

Thus, legal writer and opinionates’ description agree on the essentiality of marriage as being between a man and a man geared towards child-bearing and rearing. Finally, under our customary law, marriage is seen as not only the voluntary union of a man and woman, but also a man and a man and a woman or women, for life to the exclusion of all others.[38] Thus a monogamous or polygamous union is acceptable in the African cultures.

Notwithstanding the divergence in the definitions already explored there are salient areas of confluence which includes that:

  1. It is union of a man and woman or women.
  2. It is socially and legally sanctioned
  3. It is voluntary or consensual
  4. It aids procreation and establishment of family.
  5. It is not temporal

1.10     Chapter Analysis

Chapter one gives a general introduction of the work. It starts by giving a background review of the research work stating its objectives, scope, significance. Also a literature review of the related concepts in the work also reviewed and to the effect, it was seen that maintenance in marriage arises as a result of dissolution of the marriage by the couple. Thus, the chapter ended with limitations faced by the researcher in carrying out the research. Chapter 5 is of a concluding nature it states the researcher’s findings, observations, recommendation and conclusions in general.


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