In case you somehow missed it; the Lagos State Government announced yesterday, May 17 2018, that it has obtained a court order stopping the Ikoyi Registry from conducting marriages.
To obtain the ruling, the state government argued before the court that it is the legal right of the registries in the Local Government and Local Council Development Areas to carry out the function, and not that of a federal-government-owned registry like the one in Ikoyi.
The ruling that bars the Ikoyi registry from holding weddings is said to have taken effect on April 30, 2018 but as at today, May 19, when Pulse visited, activities at the registry were in full swing with couples getting married.You’d find it difficult to believe that any ruling had been passed against the federal establishment as activities have not even slowed down a tiny bit.
Newly married couples and excited families posed for photos, others were seated in the waiting space with eagerness in their eyes to be hitched to their sweethearts and a full house of guests were milling around the registry compound like every other business day.
Two couples we approached were absolutely, blissfully unaware that any ruling has been passed.
This is understandable, given that the ruling has just been announced yesterday, May 17, by the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Muslim Folami, and the sensitization planned for the populace by the state government has not yet begun.
“We are going to use the five divisions across the state to sensitize our people and inform them about this latest development.
“From Epe to Ikorodu, Badagry, Ikeja and Lagos Island. The sensitization walk which we embarked on today is also a way of creating awareness and letting the people know of this latest development,
Will anything change at the Ikoyi registry soon?
This is not the first time that Lagos state has gotten this kind of order against the Federal marriage registry.
The President of Marriage Registrars in all LGs/LCDAs in Lagos state, Deji Sokeye confirms this yesterday, March 17, that a similar judgement was indeed given by a court in 2004, but it was ignored by the Federal Government.
And if what we saw and heard at the registry today is anything to go by, it appears nothing will change even now.
One of the officials there who agreed to speak to Pulse anonymously says the state government of Lagos is just being “greedy” and that there was no way activities at the Ikoyi registry would slow down or stop until a directive is sent to them from their “ogas.”Asked if any of such directives has been sent to them as at the time of asking [few hours before this publication], her answer was an emphatic “No.”
This official obviously belongs to the group of people who believe that the state government is trying to bar the federal registry from registering marriages simply because they want all the revenues generated from weddings in the state to come into their Purse, and not to the federal government’s.