BREAKING: All Marriages conducted by the Ikoyi Marriage Registry are illegal and Invalid

By Stanley Alieke, Esq.

There have been a legal brawl between some Local government Areas of Nigeria against the Federal government simply for the determination of who have the power to operate marriage registries, conduct marriages and issue marriage certificates.

Statutorily, the Local governments are the ones empowered to conduct marriages and issue marriage certificates, for this reason, the LGAs have insisted that their powers to register marriages which is statutorily provided are being usurped by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Interior.

The Eti Osa LOcal Government Area of Lagos state took the Ministry of Interior and Attorney General of the Federation to court in suit no.: FHC/ LS/CS/816/18 between Eti-Osa LGA & 3 others v. Hon. Minister of Interior & 2 others (Federal High Court, Ikoyi Judicial Divaion), where the accused Federal Ministry of Interiors of usurping the Local Governments power to operate marriage registries, conduct marriages and issue marriage certificates.

They prayed the court to declare that the federal government have no business in the conduction of marriages and issuing marriage certificates and order the closure of all marriage registries opened and operated  by the federal ministry of interior or through their agents including that of the Ikoyi registry.

The case lingered but recently, the federal High court sitting in Ikoyi held in the favor of the Eti osa local government and granted their prayers.

The court held that conduct of marriages and issue of certificate is statutorily the job of the local governments as provided by the law and only the local governments have the power to do such and the acts of the federal government through the ministry of interior operating marriage registries is clearly beyond their powers.

The court further held that all marriages conducted by federal marriage registries or through their agents are illegal and invalid and the federal high court also ordered for the closure of all federal marriage registries including that of Ikoyi marriage registry with immediate effect.


1 Response

  1. Pst. E.T. Oladele says:

    The issue of conduct of marriages as stated in the Constitution of Federal Repiblic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and the Marriage Act Cap M6 LFN 2004 empowering the formation of marriages under Exclusive Legislative list should be given more judicial clarification from Registering of all Marriages constitutionally saddled to the Local Governments. The constitution and the Marriage Act are very clear on these issues but the administrators at both tiers of Govt should come together and allow the constitution and the Marriage Act define every operator. This will automatically reposition everything and there will be sanity at every operational level. The Institute of Marriage Administrators and Counselors of Nigeria has both the cognitive and procedural capacity with the cooperation of the tiers of Government involved to harmonize and forstall normalcy in the practice of Marriage Registry that will have respect for maintaining the sanctity of marriages . Individual interest and power tussle must be ruled out in the overall interest of Nigeria people home and abroad. In full consideration of above , the age long and persistent problems will become history.

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