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  • News - South West - Lagos
  • Updated: December 15, 2021

Marriages Conducted In Ikoyi Registry Not Illegal As Earlier Reported– Ministry of Interior

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Bolanle Akinlade
Bolanle Akinlade

I am a diligent, innovative, and detail-oriented individual, who thrives in dynamic environments.

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Dr. Shuiabu Belgore, the Principal Registrar of Marriage, Ministry of Interior, has declared as false, the viral news that all marriages conducted at the Ikoyi Marriage Registry is illegal.

It was reported across media platforms that a Lagos State High Court pronounced as illegal and invalid, all solemnisation of unions at the Ikoyi Marriage Registry, Lagos.

According to that report, Justice D. E. Osiagor,  held that it was unconstitutional for the Federal Government to conduct marriages and that only the Local Government marriage registries were empowered to do such in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.

In a statement signed by Shuiabu Belgore, it was stated that the news is false, misleading and a deliberate distortion of the decision in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/816/18 between Eti-Osa Local Government Council & 3 others v. Honourable Minister of Interior and 2 others.

"It is noteworthy that, the same Federal High Court situated in Ikoyi, Lagos in Suit No. FHC/L/870/2002 between Prince Haastrup and Eti Osa Local Government held that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Interior is constitutionally empowered to conduct marriages in Nigeria and held that the Local Governments were delegated by the Federal Government to conduct marriages, by virtue of Legal Notices issued pursuant to the Marriage Act. 

"In that case, the learned trial judge held that nothing in the role of local governments, as defined in the Constitution, suggests that local governments can conduct or contract marriages as alleged in their pleadings.

"The Court affirmed that powers of the local governments to contract statutory marriages is derived from the Legal Notices issued by the President. The Court also confirmed that the role of local governments, as enshrined in the Constitution is limited to registration of all forms of marriages (including Islamic and customary marriages)," the statement stated in part.

In addition, the issue of formation, annulment and other matrimonial causes are by virtue of item 61 of the 1st Schedule of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria exclusively reserved for the Federal Government. 

The statement stated that the above judgments are all still subsisting, competent and have not been appealed against till date.

The viral decision delivered by Justice D. E. Osiagor of the Federal High Court, cannot therefore set aside a previous decision of the same Court, which is of coordinate jurisdiction, as that would amount to the court sitting on appeal over its own judgment.

The Princpal Registrar of Marriage called for calm while the appropriate action of appealing the conflicting decisions is in progress.

"We would like to appeal to the general public, the international community, to couples who had hitherto had their marriages solemnized at Federal Marriage Registries by duly licensed places of worship and  couples who had hitherto had their marriages solemnized at Federal Marriage Registries by duly licensed places of worship and to all intending couples to be calm and continue transacting their normal businesses at all Federal Marriage Registries subsisting throughout the federation in line with statutory and constitutional provisions," the statement said.

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Bolanle Akinlade
Bolanle Akinlade

I am a diligent, innovative, and detail-oriented individual, who thrives in dynamic environments.

More From this Author

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