Laws Of Marriage In Nigeria


As she’s in ethnic make ups Nigeria is pluralistic in her legal systems. There are essentially three strategies of law in Nigeria i.e the English law, Traditional law and Islamic law (also called Sharia law).

All these laws has its system of union, though they have likenesses and their differences. All the three processes of union are not unlike at least in relation to their recognition as union which may be lawfully contracted in Nigeria by anyone who wants.

It’s feasible for someone to contract two unions, one under the Traditional law as well as the other under the Islamic law but this is not acceptable as far as English law can be involved.

It is necessary at this point to take a look at every of the unions with a few details.

English Law Union

The Marriage Act in Nigeria governs contracting unions consistent with the tenets of the English law. As far back as 1860 the court had, in Hyde vs. Hyde, defined marriage as ” the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others”. This has been accepted as the significance of the English law union ever since. Such a union certainly abhors.

For a union to be valid and capable as an English law union in Nigeria, the underneath listed conditions stipulated by the Marriage Act should be complied with.

States for Valid English Law Union

Parties to the union should have concurred to be wife and husband
A notice in the Union Registry needs to have filed within the region where the union will be observed, saying his intent to get married
The registrar subsequently enters in the Marriage Notice Book the notice
The notice stays open for a minimum of 21 days before Marriage Certificate can be issued by the Registrar
During the 21 days may enter a caveat as an objection to the planned wedding
Now, the caveat will be referred by the Registrar to the High Court that will decide the destiny of the caveat one way or the other.

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