The Oasis Reporters
May 25, 2018
It is important to know where you marry or how you marry.
A Lagos High Court has issued a restraining order on the Federal Registry in Ikoyi from conducting marriages, saying it is unconstitutional for the federal government to be usurping the power and duties of State and Local Governments.
In other words, all marriages are local affairs and If you and your spouse or anyone else are planning to marry at the Ikoyi Marriage Registry in highbrow Ikoyi Lagos, then understand that in the eyes of the law, you are cohabiting. That is no longer a recognised marriage no matter how grandiose it was.
Delivering judgment in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1760/16, Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor of the Lagos High Court, according to a release published on the Lagos State Government website, reaffirmed that all Marriage Registries in the Local Government and Local Council Development Areas of Lagos State are the authentic and legally-binding government divisions established to carry out such functions.
Addressing a Press Conference on the development on Thursday, the Lagos State Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Mr. Muslim Folami said the Ministry will officially communicate the judgement to concerned stakeholders, especially the various Embassies in the State, stressing that the decision of the court is supreme and is legally binding on all.
He added that the Press Conference was held in order to intimate the general public that all Marriages conducted and registered in any of the 20LGs and 37LCDAs are valid and in accordance with the Marriage Act.
According to him, the judgment would undoubtedly put a stop to the perception of superiority of Ikoyi Marriage Registry over the Local Government Registries.
“We are going to use every available platform in the five divisions across the State to sensitize our people and inform them about this latest development; From Epe to Ikorodu, Badagry, Ikeja and Lagos Island. The sensitization today is also a way of creating awareness and letting the people know of this latest development”.
In his remarks, the President of the Marriage Registrars in all the Local Government and Local Council Development Areas, Mr. Deji Sokeye, described the judgement as landmark, saying that the responsibilities of the LGAs/LCDAs has come back to them by the virtue of the law and as provided for in Section 30 (1) of the Marriage Act and Section 7 (5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said the judgement would restore hope and confidence in the certificates already issued and those that will be awarded in future by the Registries.
With this legal restructuring, maybe other local affairs made national would fortunately take their place.