Legal Experts Recommends Review Of Marriage Act…As NBA, Benin Branch Celebrate Law Week


Jul 5, 2023

By Mercy Onyenweli

Legal experts have called for a review of Marriage Act as the challenges of double decker Marriage has created many legal problems that expose Women to dangers.

The Dean of Faculty of Law, University of Benin, Uniben ,Prof. Omoruyi Ikponmwonsa who delivered a Lecture during the NBA , on the Theme: Rising Incidence of Double Decker Marriages in Nigeria Legal Issues, explained that the Customary Marriage and the Court Marriage have guidelines that distinguished both from each other and are complete on their own.

Prof. Omoruyi Ikponmwosa who stressed that Women usually feel unsafe with Customary Marriage because of lack of documentation of the process usually go for Court Marriage.

According to Omoruyi, both system of Marriages skewed against each other because they are complete on their own.

” The Customary Marriage encourages Polygamy while the Court Marriage stand for one Man , one Woman, so for a Couple to engage on both, such Couples are contradicting their Marriage requirements”.

“There are documentation in Court Marriages with certified Certificate which can be presented both in the Court in case of dissolution and the Embassy for those who choose to travel out of the Country “

“And above all, it protects both parties incase of ownership of properties , while they are no such thing in Traditional Marriages outside the required birth price that the Man is expected to pay to the family of the Bride.”

“Section 47 of the Marriage Act Criminalizes double decker marriage which is observing Traditional Marriage and Court Marriages at the same time” He Said.

He advised that the National Assembly should review the Marriage Act and unify the marriage system to enable the Judiciary have a direct legal framework that would either support Couples to go for any of the Marriage System and avoid duplication of action that has distinguished itself with it’s requirements.

Speaking, The Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association(NBA), Benin branch, Nosa Francis Edo-Osagie described the Law Week as very Educative with the caliber of Guest Speakers drawn from across the Country to talk on issues affecting the Country.

Comrade Francis , noted that the Law Week which started on Monday with the Theme: A Review of the Nation’s Political Culture and Electoral Integrity has touched on issues that bedeviled the last general election and proffer solutions on the way forward.

He further said, that the NBA, Benin branch will propose a Marriage Act bill that would be sent to the National Assembly for review as they are so much lacuna in the Marriage Act that needs to be addressed to reduce the legal challenges Legal Practitioners experience on a daily basis in the of Court of Law.

The afternoon section which was anchored by a panel of Four Discussants saw each Discussant present a detailed explanations on the Marriage Act and responding to questions raised from the Lecture delivered by the lead Speaker, Prof. Omoruyi Ikponmwosa .

The discussants are Prof. Lawrence Atsegbua, Prof. Bright Bazuaye and Prof. Nosa Obaizawonmuwan along with members of NBA, Edo branch expressed their satisfaction on the performance of the present NBA Leadership tagged the Team Dream.

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