The Federal Government yesterday debunked claims by the Lagos State government, that Federal High Court siting in Lagos ordered the closure of Ikoyi marriage registry.
The Ministry of Interior, insisted that the claim was false, and does not reflect the court judgement.
Apparently reacting to a press statement credited to the Director, Public Affairs, in the Lagos State Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, Bisi Olufuwa, Legal Adviser to the Ministry of Interior, Bola Odugbesan, explained that the case, Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1760/16, between Egor Local Government Area, Edo State and three others Vs. Ministry of Interior & others, cited by the Lagos State Government, was actually struck out by Justice Obiozor in his judgment delivered on April 30, 2018.
Olufuwa had claimed that Lagos State had secured a court injunction restraining the Ikoyi registry from conducting marriages.
While dismissing the claim, Odugbesan said the state’s action was “an abuse of court process” and struck it out.
The Legal Adviser added that; “In the case, the court was invited to interpret the provisions of the Constitution conferring on local governments the powers to register marriages.
“The Minister of Interior, through his Counsel, Bola Odugbesan, argued that under item 61 of the Exclusive List, matters connected with marriage under the Marriage Act, issuing of marriage certificate and its registration are outside the purview of state and/or local governments.
“The Federal High Court in its judgment dated April 30, 2018, struck out the case of the plaintiffs, i.e., Egor LGA & Ors.
“The court held that the case is an abuse of the court process in view of the earlier judgment of the court in 2002, which upheld the sanctity of the rights of the minister to issue licences to places of worship to conduct marriages, and the registrar under the Marriage Act to register marriages.
“It is instructive to note that Lagos State was not a party in the case,” Odugbesan added..