ALGON challenges judgment on marriage registration

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The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) has filed an appeal against the judgment of a Lagos High Court, which declared the Local Government Unified Marriage Certificate unlawful.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Ibironke Harrison of a Lagos High Court had, in a judgment on May 15, declared the certificate null and void.

The judgment followed a suit filed by a lawyer and rights activist, Mr Olumide Babalola.

In an eight-point notice of appeal it filed on Monday, ALGON argued that the Lagos High Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the case.

ALGON claimed that the Federal High Court was vested with the power to hear the case.

It said that the judge erred by declaring that the formation of marriage was under the Exclusive List of the Constitution and within the domain of the Federal Government, regulated by the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs.

It said that, by virtue of Section 7 (5) of Fourth Schedule (1) of the 1999 Constitution, registration of marriages was one of the functions of local government under the exclusive list.

ALGON urged the Court of Appeal to set aside the lower court’s judgment and declare that marriage was not a concurrent matter as only local government could register marriages under the 1999 Constitution.

It also urged the appellate court to declare that the Federal Government was not empowered to regulate marriages through the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

“Item 61, Second Schedule of the Constitution is an exclusive legislative function of the National Assembly in Nigeria,’’ ALGON said.

It urged the Court of Appeal to declare the lower court’s judgment null and void.

NAN reports that the Lagos High Court sitting at Igbosere had declared local government marriage certificate unconstitutional.

She also perpetually restrained local governments from further issuing “customised” marriage certificates.

Hearing notices on the appeal have yet to be issued to the parties involved

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ALGON challenges judgment on marriage registration