Local Governments' court victory is not fake as claimed by the Federal Ministry of Interior. IT IS AUTHENTIC!
The lead counsel for the Local Government Councils Barrister Roger Michael Adedimeji (Esq) inssued a press statement this morning confirming that the court in its judgement closed down all the Federal Marriage Registries operated by the Ministry of Interior across the federation and affirmed that Local Governments are the statutory tier of government empowered to register all types of marriages and issue marriage certificates to married couples all over the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He however said that the court declined to close down Ikoyi Registry based on some technicalities. To this effect, his team of lawyers will appeal against it in order to also have the closure of the Ikoyi Marriage Registry.
The Counsel therefore advised the general public willing to be married to do so at the nearest Local Government Council Marriage Registry of their residence to avoid future embarrassment and save themselves of the uneasy stress because the Ministry of Interior has indicated that it will appeal the judgment and our team will be glad to meet it at the Court of Appeal to see to the closure of Ikoyi Registry through substantial law.
Once more, the general public is advised to legally get married and be issued with valid marriage certificates after which they should ensure that the marriage is entered in the Unified Local Government Database @ www.intergovernmentalmarrriagereg.org in Nigeria, all married persons may register their marriage certificates in the same database/portal address for record keeping which is now accessible by the Embassies, High Commissions and relevant authorities globally.
It should be understood that all the Embassies and High Commissions in Nigeria, including the International Community and the Nigerian Immigration and relevant Authorities have been so enjoined to disregard the circulars and instructions that might have been issued to them by the Ministry of Interior against marriage certificate issued by Local Government councils in Nigeria. The certificates from the Local Governments are valid under the Act.
The Lead Counsel further said the Local Government Registrars cannot be intimidated by the illegal contractors or revenue collectors or revenue sharers of the marriage registry fees who had engaged media publicity for propaganda. These private contractors that have created registries in the various Local Governments are engaged to conduct and celebrate marriages for the public which is contrary to the Marriage Act. The private contractors acting illegally and unconstitutionally are engaged by few corrupt-prone civil servants of the Federal Government benefiting from the continuous existence of the present operational registration of marriage at the Ministry.
Our legal team will not fail to acknowledge the support of the Governors Forum of Nigeria (G.F.N) and Association of Local Government in Nigeria (ALGON) who have always reminded us of the need to protect the Local Government constitutional functions on marriages from being usurped. We will also acknowledge the financial commitment of all the Local Governments and, most especially the applicants for the Local Governments for believing in our legal skills and ability to finish off this matter, stopping the Federal Marriage Registry unconstitutional registration of marriage, not only at the various states as ruled by the court in our favour but going further for total closure of the Ikoyi registry at the appeal court soon.