A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, today declared that all marriages conducted at the Federal Marriage Registries, including Ikoyi Registry are all nullified and thus invalid. The court maintained that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to conduct marriages.
Justice D. E. Osiagor, the presiding judge at the federal high court stressed that it is only the local government marriage registries are constitutionally empowered to institute marriages citing the 1999 amended Constitution.
Apart of conducting marriages, Justice D. E. Osiagor also explained that issuance of certificates are statutorily the job of the local governments as provided by the law.
The judge added that the acts of the federal government through the Ministry of Interior, operating marriage registries is beyond their powers and held that all marriages conducted by federal marriage registries or through their agents are illegal and invalid.
He consequently ordered the closure of all federal marriage registries opened by the ministry, including that of Ikoyi marriage registry, with immediate effect.
There has been a legal battle 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.
The LGAs had insisted that their power to register marriages was being taken over by the federal government through the Ministry of Interior.