The Ministry of Interior has debunked reports making the rounds that the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has declared all marriages conducted by the Ikoyi marriage registry illegal and invalid.
In a statement on Tuesday evening, the Permanent Secretary and Principal Registrar of Marriages, Ministry Of Interior, described the reports as “false, misleading and a deliberate distortion of the decision of the Court in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/816/18 between Eti-Osa Local Government Council & 3 others”.
According to the statement, the court only ruled that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Interior, is constitutionally empowered to conduct marriages in Nigeria and the Local Governments were only delegated by the Federal Government to conduct marriages, by virtue of Legal Notices issued pursuant to the Marriage Act.
It also stated that contrary to their (local government’s) pleading, the trial judge held that nothing in the role of local governments, as defined in the Constitution, suggests that they can conduct or contract marriages. However, the only power is derived from the Legal Notices issued by the President.
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The statement read: “The attention of the Ministry of Interior has been drawn to news making the rounds on social media claiming that the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has declared all Marriages conducted by Ikoyi marriage registry to be illegal and invalid.
“We would like to state that this statement is false, misleading and a deliberate distortion of the decision of the Court in Suit No:FHC/L/CS/816/18 between Eti-Osa Local Government Council & 3 others v. Honourable Minister of Interior and 2 others, where the Honourable Court held that only the Local Government councils can conduct valid marriages in Nigeria.”