Marriages Conducted By The Ikoyi Registry Are Not Legally Binding, Says Court
In “Nigeria Nigeria-ing” news, the Lagos high court ruled yesterday that marriages conducted by the Federal Registry, Ikoyi are not legally binding. (*cues Lagos
philandering married men giving you the “I told you I wasn’t married” face*)
Hon. Chuka Austine Obiozor, the justice presiding over the case, officially issued a restraining order to the Ikoyi registry, preventing it from conducting marriages, saying it is unconstitutional for the Federal Government to perform the duties of the state and local governments.
You know what else is unconstitutional? Continuing to perform hundreds, maybe thousands of marriages, while a case about whether you should be able to perform said marriages is pending. But are we surprised? No, not at all, this seems perfectly within character scope for a Nigerian institution. So moving on.
The judgement stated that marriage registries in the local government and local council development areas (LG/LCDAs) of Lagos State are the only authentic and legally-binding government divisions established and empowered to carry out such functions. Addressing a press conference yesterday, Lagos State Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Muslim Folami said the judgment will be communicated to all stakeholders, including embassies.
Embassies have been known to favour marriage certificates from the Federal Registry over the ones from State and Local Government Registries, proving once again that whi…never mind.
Hon. Obiozor said the decision of the court is supreme and is legally binding on all and that all marriages conducted and registered in any of the 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas are valid and in accordance with the marriage act. And according to him, the judgment will 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.”
While this ruling restores the much needed confidence in certificates already issued and those that will be awarded in future by the LG/LCDA registries, as of now it is unclear where that leaves marriage certificates already issued by the Federal Registry, Ikoyi. Also, it’s Nigeria, so you may want to get on back up certificates. 🤷🏽♀️