Lagos court nullifies Federal marriage registry certificates

The court says the Federal registry certificates are not superior to ones issued by state and local governments.

All marriages conducted by the Federal registry in Ikoyi, Lagos are not legally valid, the Lagos high court has ruled.

According to Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor, only state and local governments can conduct legally binding marriages.

Justice Obiozor pronounced the judgement on Monday, saying the court would begin moves to effect the appropriate rule of law.

Muslim Folami, the Lagos state commissioner for local government and community affairs, said on Thursday that the judgement will be communicated to all stakeholders, including embassies.

He 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.

Folami said the judgement would put an end to the misconceived notion that marriages conducted by the Federal registry were superior to ones conducted by state and local governments.

The US embassy is widely believed to only recognise marriage certificates obtained at the Federal registry in Ikoyi, hence one of the reasons many Nigerians – and foreigners – make it their preferred destination.

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