"HOW TO BE LEGALLY MARRIED IN NIGERIA"

By 

ONYEKACHI UMAH, ESQ., LL.M, ACIArb(UK)

DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 209)
“Adultery Is Not An Offence In All States In Nigeria.”

Adultery is an offence only in the northern part of Nigeria. It is not an offence in the Western, Eastern and Southern parts of Nigeria. Hence, adultery as a crime in states in Northern Nigeria, it is punishable with 2 years imprisonment and or with an option of fine. In the other parts of Nigeria, no person can be charged to court for adultery.

My authorities are sections 387 and 388 of the Penal Code Act, 1960.

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This is the writer’s view not a legal advice and does not create any form of relationship. You may reach the writer for more information.

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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 183)
“Customary Marriages In Nigeria Are To Be Registered In Court.”

Aside English Marriages, a Customary/Traditional/Native Marriage conducted in any part of Nigeria, is expected to be registered at an Area Court or Customary Court within 60 days.

My authority is section 30 of the Birth, Death etc (Compulsory Registration) Act.

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This is the writer’s view not a legal advice and does not create any form of relationship. You may reach the writer for more information.

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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 136)
“Start Point Of Valid English Marriage In Nigeria”

English Marriage, Statutory Marriage, White Marriage, Court Marriage or Morden Marriage all mean same thing. Above all such marriage MUST start from a Marriage Registry with a 21 days Public Notice for it to be VALID. There can never be a VALID English marriage without a visit to a Marriage Registry. Not every marriage conducted in a church/worship place is VALID.

My authority; section 7 of Marriage Act.

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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 134)
“Legality of Varying Cost of English Marriages Across Nigeria”.

Every religious organisation licensed to conduct marriages is allowed by law to charge its own fees. The growing cost of celebration of marriage is not unknown to law. It is right to pay clergy for weddings! See, section 38 Marriage Act.

My authority; section 38 of Marriage Act.

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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 105)
“Validity of Marriages Conducted in Ikeja, Abuja and other Federal Marriage Registries in Nigeria”.

As it is in law books, there are recent judgements declaring that the Federal government has no powers to run a marriage registry like it is doing in Lagos, Abuja and may be other parts of Nigeria. So are marriages conducted in the marriage registries operated by the federal government instead of in Marriage Registries at Local Government Areas, valid? Any marriage conducted outside LGAs’ and Development Centers’ marriage registries or licensed places of worship is INVALID, where a spouse was aware that such place is unlicensed.

See section 33 (2) (a) of the Marriage Act.

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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 87)
“THE RIGHT COURT FOR DIVORCE IN NIGERIA”

Divorce/dissolution of English Marriage can be sought in any State High Court in any state in Nigeria, so far as the spouse seeking such is domiciled in Nigeria. The state of origin or residence or employment of a spouse does not matter because Nigeria is a single jurisdiction in matrimonial cases.

See section 2 of Matrimonial Causes Act.

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A wilful, persistent and continued refusal to consummate marriage (have sex with spouse at least once after wedding) without a reason is a good ground to seek and obtain divorce in a court.

See sections 15 and 21 of the Matrimonial Causes Act.

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A Promise to Marry is an agreement. It is a legally binding contract among parties. It may be written, oral or even inferred from conducts of parties. Where any party breaches a promise to marry, such party can be sued for damages. Damages for loss of other suitors, money spent on love, wasted years, psychological and emotional trauma, etc.

See, Martins v. Adenugba(1946) 18 NLR 63.

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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 47)

Where a spouse already married in via a Customary/Native/Traditional Marriage goes on without a divorce to marry another person via an English/Statutory/Court Marriage such new Marriage is invalid, Null and Void. It is also an offence punishable with 5 years imprisonment.

See, sections 33(1) and 46 of Marriage Act.

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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 44)

A certificate of a License Place of Worship with regards to powers to wed people is not same as a Certificate of registration of a church/worship place. The first is issued by Ministry of Internal Affairs while the later is issued by Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

See section 6 of Marriage Act.

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DAILY LAW TIPS
by Onyekachi Umah,Esq.
(Tip 39)

Happy valentines!

It is an offence for a couple already married in English/Statutory Marriage to later seek to re-marry themselves under Traditional/Native/Customary law. It is an offence punishable with 5 years imprisonment!
So couples that perform English wedding before payment of bride price and traditional weddings are earned!
Kindly see Section 47 of the Marriage Act.

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Courtship is not marriage neither is a loose partnership of opposite sex marriage. Living together and making of babies doesn’t connote marriage. Hear this, going to a church and being declared “man and woman” without an earlier strict observance of legal marriage requirements is no marriage in the eyes of law.

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