Home Courts Court renders all marriages conducted by FG, Ikoyi Registry illegal, invalid

Court renders all marriages conducted by FG, Ikoyi Registry illegal, invalid

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The Federal High Court in Lagos has declared that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to organise marriages, declaring, e.g., that the Ikoyi marriage registry, Lagos, is an invalid and unconstitutional place for marriages to take place.

In a judgment presided over by Justice D. E. Osiagor, the court held that only the local government marriage registries are empowered to conduct marriages, and that is in accordance with the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Furthermore, the conduct of marriages and issuance of certificates is statutorily the responsibility of the local governments.

The judge further declared that the federal government’s role in operating marriage registries was beyond their authority and that any marriage performed by a federal marriage registry or by its agents was illegal and invalid.

He consequently ordered that all federal marriage registries opened by the ministry, including the Ikoyi marriage registry be closed with immediate effect.

There has been a legal brawl between some local government areas in Nigeria against the federal government over who has the power to operate marriage registries, conduct marriages and issue marriage certificates.

This led some LGAs to insist that their powers to register marriages as statutorily provided by the constitution were being usurped by the federal government through the Ministry of Interior.

It is because of this that the Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State sought an order to take over the Ikoyi Marriage Registry operated by the Ministry of Interior, claiming that the federal government, through the ministry, had no business running a marriage registry.

The suit marked FHC/ LS/CS/816/18, with defendants; the Ministry of Interior and Attorney General of the Federation were accused of usurping the local government power to conduct marriages and issue marriage certificates.

It also prayed the court to declare that the federal government has no business in the conduction of marriages and issuing marriage certificates and therefore 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.

In the end, the court granted their prayers, saying only the local governments have the power to conduct marriages in Nigeria.

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