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Valid English Marriage Cannot Start From Church/Mosque

Valid English Marriage Cannot Start From Church/Mosque.

Valid English Marriage Cannot Start From Church/Mosque. Daily Law Tips (Tip 327) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

In Nigeria, there are 2 types of marriages; Traditional(Customary/Native) marriage and English(Statutory/Court) marriage. Both are valid and recognised by law.
A valid English Marriage must be initiated/commenced/started from a Marriage Registry. At a Marriage Registry, information will be obtained from intending couple and 21 days notice of their intention to be married will be made public. Where there is no objection/opposition to such marriage, the Registrar of Marriage will authorise the intending couple to celebrate/wed at the Registrar’s office or any licensed place of worship. It is at this point, that intending couple can approach church/mosque for wedding within 3 months. Any wedding done without a Marriage Registry is not an English wedding rather a mere customary marriage.

Religious bodies are encouraged to always properly guide and send intending couples to Marriage Registries before wedding to ensure marriages are valid.


Sections 1, 7, 10, 12, 21, 23 and 33 of Marriage Act, 1914.


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