THE VALID LEGAL PROCESSION OF A STATUTORY MARRIAGE IN NIGERIA
The main legislation governing marriage ceremonies in Nigeria is the Marriage Act.
THE VALID LEGAL PROCESSION OF A STATUTORY MARRIAGE IN NIGERIA
According to Section 7 of the Marriage Act, the Registrar of Marriages in the location where the marriage is intended to take place must receive a notice of marriage from one of the parties before the statutory marriage can begin. The party issuing the notice must sign the notice, which must be in Form A.
After entering the notice in the "Marriage Notice Book," the Registrar must publish a copy of it by pasting it to the outside of his office and the registry's notice board and collecting the required costs.
Anyone who has good reason(s) why the parties shouldn't get married may enter a caveat against the issuance of the Registrar's Certificate after publication but before the issuance of the Registrar's certificate in Form C, which may be issued at any time after the expiration of the caveat-entering period of 21 days but before the expiration of three (3) months from the notice of the marriage. This caveat is entered by writing the word "Forbidden" opposite the entry of the notice in the According to the requirements of Section 14 of the Marriage Act, the person must give his or her name, address, and the reasons for the objection.
Persons who can enter caveat include any person whose consent to a marriage is required or who may know of any just cause why the marriage should not take place. Where such a caveat is validly entered, the Registrar shall not issue his certificate until the caveat is removed by the judge of a High Court of the state to whom such a matter shall be referred to for determination. The court will summon the parties and the caveator to appear before him to provide justification for why the Registrar's certificate should be issued or not. The matter will then be decided summarily with the option of appealing to the Court of Appeal.
If the judge determines that the certificate should be granted, he or she must remove the restriction by crossing out "forbidden" and writing "cancelled by decision of the high court" beneath it. The certificate must also be signed in accordance with Section 16 of the Marriage Act. The Registrar shall then issue his certificate and the marriage will go on as if the caveat was never entered. Where a caveat is entered, the period of three (3) months for issuance of Registrar's Certificate shall cease to run until the issue of the caveat is determined.
THE FOLLOWING FACTORS MUST BE CONSIDERED BEFORE THE REGISTRAR ISSUES HIS CERTIFICATE
Under section 11(1) Marriage Act, the Registrar must be satisfied by an affidavit of the following before issuing the certificate:
That one of the parties has been resident within the district in which the marriage is intended to be celebrated at least fifteen days preceding the granting of the certificate That each of the parties to the intended marriage (not being a widower or widow) is twenty-one years old, or that if he or she is under that age, the requisite consent has been obtained in writing and is annexed to such affidavit; That there is no impediment of kindred or affinity or any other lawful hindrance to the marriage; That neither of the parties to the intended statutory marriage is married by customary law to any person other than the person with whom such marriage is proposed to be contracted.
According to Section 12 of the Marriage Act, the wedding must take place three (3) months after the notice of marriage was given. A new notice must be given before the couple can legally get married if the marriage is not consummated within this time frame, rendering the notice and any following procedures null and void.
VENUE FOR CONDUCTING STATUTORY MARRIAGES IN NIGERIA
MARRIAGE BY A MINISTER OF A RELIGIOUS DENOMINATION IN A LICENSED PLACE OF WORSHIP
According to Section 18 of the Marriage Act, marriages may be performed in a licenced place of worship before any recognised Minister of the church denomination or body to which such place of worship belongs, as long as the ceremony is performed with open doors between the hours of eight (80) in the morning and six (06) in the afternoon, and there are two or more witnesses present in addition to the officiating minister.
MARRIAGE REGISTRY BEFORE THE REGISTRAR OF MARRIAGE
By virtue of section 27 of the Marriage Act, marriages can be celebrated in the Marriage Registry before the Registrar after parties to the intended marriage have given notice and obtained the registrar's certificate. If the parties opt to contract the marriage in the Registrar's office before the Registrar of marriages, the marriage shall be celebrated by the Registrar with open doors, in the presence of two witnesses between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.
MARRIAGE IN ANY PLACE LICENSED BY THE MINISTER
If a licence issued by the Minister under section 13 of the Marriage Act specifies that a marriage may be performed somewhere other than a licenced house of worship or the Registrar's office, the union is considered lawful. As a result, a marriage may be performed in a town hall, garden, or other locations specified in the licence granted by the Minister. However, in accordance with sections 23 and 29 of the Marriage Act, the Registrar of Marriage or a certified minister of some religious group or organisation must contract the marriage. Following the marriage ceremony, the officiating clergy must issue a Marriage Certificate in Form E that is duly witnessed by the parties and duly witnessed by the minister or registrar.
Finally, in Nigeria, statutory marriage and its legitimacy are not solely governed by the Marriage Act. Instances where a marriage may become null or voidable in Nigerian law are also listed in Sections 3 and 5 of the Matrimonial Causes Act LFN 1990.
NB: This article is not a legal advice, and under no circumstance should you take it as such. All information provided are for general purpose only. For information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
WRITTEN BY CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM
TEL: 08065553671, 08024230080