Court declares LG marriage certificate illegal – The PUNCH

Court declares LG marriage certificate illegal – The PUNCH

A Lagos High Court has barred local government areas from conducting marriages across the country.

The court, in a judgment, declared that the Local Government Unified Marriage Certificate was unknown to law and therefore unconstitutional, null and void.

A Certified True Copy of the judgment by Justice I. O. Harrison of Court 37, General Civil Division of the Lagos Judicial Division, dated May 15, 2017, in suit no LD/1343GCM/2016, was obtained by our correspondent on Sunday in Abuja.

The plaintiff, Olamide Babalola, representing himself and other recipients of modified marriage certificates from the local governments, had dragged the Ikeja Local Government and Registered Trustees of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria before the court over the modified marriage certificate issued by the first and second defendants.

The plaintiff had sought a declaration that the first defendant did not have the powers to issue modified or customised marriage certificates different from the one provided in Form E under Section 24 of the Marriage Act Laws of Federation of Nigeria,1990.

Babalola also prayed for a declaration that the second defendant’s Local Government Unified Marriage Certificate was unknown to law and unconstitutional.

He equally wanted a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their agents, officers, employees and representatives from further issuing modified or altered marriage certificates apart from the form as provided under Form E (1st schedule) and Section 24 of the Marriage Act, LFN, 1990.

Harrison, in her judgment, declared that the first defendant did not have the powers to issue modified or customised marriage certificates different from the one provided in Form E under section 24 of the Marriage Act.

She said, “The court thus orders as follows: declaration that the second defendant’s ‘Local Government Unified Marriage Certificate’ is unknown to our law, unconstitutional, null and void.

“A perpetual injunction, restraining the defendants their agents, officers, employees and representatives from further issuing modified or altered marriage certificates apart from the form as provided under Form E (1st schedule) and Section 24 of the Marriage Act, LFN, 1990.

“A perpetual injunction, restraining the second defendant, their agents, officers, employees and representatives from further issuing Modified Local Government Unified Marriage Certificates.”

Citing Imunze vs Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2014 LPELR 22354 (SC) and Onochie vs Odogwu, 2006 Nigeria Weekly Law Report, (Part 975) 65, Harrison stated that while registration of marriage is regulated by local government being under the concurrent list, formation of marriage is under the exclusive list within the domain of the Federal Government regulated by the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs-item 6 of 2nd schedule of 1999 constitution.

The judge pointed out that a marriage had been declared invalid by the Supreme Court on the grounds that it was not in line with Form E as provided by the Marriage Act.

http://punchng.com/court-declares-lg-marriage-certificates-illegal/

Joseph Ogunmodede
Founder, THE LEGAL DIARY
Joseph Jagunmolu Ogunmodede is a budding lawyer and founder of Nigerian-based innovative network known as THE LEGAL DIARY, an online platform for educating people on their legal rights and duties which is a unique idea that meets the pressing need for public enlightenment in Nigeria.
Since the evolution of THE LEGAL DIARY in January, 2017, he has consistently updated his audience with various legal stories and legal opinions posted on a weekly basis. He has also offered several pieces of advice and legal opinions to a number of clients both online and physically.
He was born in Ogun State, Nigeria, and holds Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) Degree from the prestigious University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State where he was awarded a First Class (Honours). He is currently an Intern at B. O. Ogunmodede & Co, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

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