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Ministry vows to go after Nigerians involved in ‘ghost marriages’

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The Federal Ministry of Interior has warned that ”ghost marriages” are illegal and any Federal Registrar found to have violated the law with regards to registration of marriages, shall be punished.

A ”ghost marriage”, is a marriage in which one or both parties are deceased.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Director of Citizenship and Business Department, Mrs Moremi Soyinka-Onijala, on Wednesday in response to speculations that marriage certificates were being obtained from the federal registries, in the absence of intending couples.

Responding on behalf of the Permanent Secretary, Soyinka-Onijala explained that it is absolutely compulsory for intending couples to be present before any marriage can be registered or certificates issued.

Citing some provisions of the Marriage Act, she said that sections 44 provides that “whoever impersonates any other person in marriage, or marries under a false name or description, with intent to deceive the other party to the marriage, shall be liable to imprisonment for five years”

It is an important requirement for intending couples to be physically present at any Registry (Federal or not) or at any Licensed Public Place of Worship in order to be married under the provisions of the Marriage Act of 1990 Cap 218 LFN as amended.

“Ghost Marriages as they are called, are illegal and any marriages so conducted are rendered null and void ab initio,” she said

She noted that Section 42 provides that whoever witnesses as a marriage officer in the ceremony of marriage, knowing that he is not duly qualified to do so, or that any of the matters required by law for the validity of such marriage has not happened shall be liable to imprisonment for five years.

“If any Federal Registrar is found to have violated the law, he or she shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the Marriage Act and the Public Service Rules,” she said

By Mayowa Oladeji…

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Grazing Routes: Malami Failed To Offer Proper Advice, Says says land use act superior to gazette -Sagay

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President Muhammadu Buhari’s insistence on the recovery of cattle grazing routes in parts of the country, may be a function of the alleged failure of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr.

Abubakar Malami (SAN), to offer “proper advice” on its legality. Recall that President Buhari had, in an interview with a national television station about two weeks ago, directed the AGF to begin the process of recovering grazing routes, in the wake of farmers/herders’ crisis in the country. He had predicated his order on a gazette that was made in the early 1960s’ delineating some routes for herdsmen to graze their cattle. However, the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), has argued that the Land Use Act, which is a piece of legislation, has overriding power over the said gazette.


Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN and chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, Prof. Itse Sagay, SAN

The Professor of Law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, made the intervention in a telephone conversation with our correspondent. He submitted that the land use act, as captured in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), vests the ownership of land on the respective state governors. “My view is that the Attorney General of the Federation has not advised the Head of State (President) properly on this matter. “He has not done his job to advise him (President) that grazing routes are no longer a viable option legally, or even practically.

Because, where are the routes now, even if they existed before? “This has been discussed over and over again, and the Land Use Act is embedded in the Constitution (of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended). “Obviously, it over takes and overrides any other thing that came before it,” Sagay said. This was as he further submitted that the act, captured in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), vests the ownership of land on the respective State Governors who in turn hold the same in trust for their people.

The PACAC Chairman also interrogated the concept of grazing routes in contemporary society, concluding that the culture was no longer a viable one. Hear him: “There is no question about that. The governor is the owner of all state land in trust for the people.

“Secondly, all societies develop. A culture, which was practised a thousand years ago…driving cattle through thousands of kilometres, is no longer viable in a modern society for many reasons.” Asked to specifically situate the place of the gazette of the grazing route within the context of the Constitution, Sagay said: “That is what I’m saying now.

The Land Use Act is embedded in the constitution. “So, it has that superior legislative authority over any other thing. So, even if there was a conflict between it and the gazette of the grazing route, it (land use act) will take precedence over that gazette. “There is no question about that. In any case, in law, if you make two laws that contain the same or different contents, the latter one always prevails over the earlier. “So, we are talking of something made in the early ’60s, and we are now talking of a Constitution of 1999. There can be no question of which one is superior, and which will prevail over the other.”

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Just In: National Assembly roof leaking

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An early morning downpour on Tuesday led to the leaking of the National Assembly roof with water splashing to the lobby of the federal parliament.

The leaking roof also spread to the Press Centre in the Senate wing of the nation’s apex legislative institution.

The leadership of the National Assembly had in 2020 approved N37bn for the renovation of the edifice, built about 27 years ago.

Cleaners had a hectic time scooping water from the floor while the development delayed the sitting of the senators who resumed on Tuesday after a one-week break to mark the end of their second legislative year.

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Pay Us Our Money: Heritage Bank Workers Storm Senator Uba’s House In Abuja, Ask Him To Pay Up His Debt

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Staff members of Heritage Bank Plc have accused Senator Andy Uba, representing Anambra South Senatorial District in the Senate, of collecting loans from the bank and refusing to pay them back

Over 20 young bank workers – Men and women, in branded T-shirts and Jean trousers are seen in a video gathered in front of what they described as Uba’s house in protest, with placards in hand.

A voice in the video said they were staff members of Heritage Bank and were at Senator Uba’s residence in Abuja to put pressure on him to pay back his loans after several efforts had failed.

They said they felt compelled to take the action because their jobs were at stake, adding that they would likely lose their jobs if the loans were not repaid.

The voice said: “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Today is Monday, the 21st day of June 2021, and we have here the staff members of Heritage Bank Pl, Abuja. We are in front of Senator Andy Uba’s house in Abuja.

“Senator Uba has been owing the bank for a couple of years now, and we are here for a peaceful meeting with him, very peaceful meeting. To ask him to kindly repay those loans, because they are depositors’ funds.

“Those monies, if they are not repaid, will throw the number of the people you see here, with their families out of work. And we know the situation of the economy now. If this number of people are thrown out of work, you know what it means.

“So that people will not lose their job…”

The senator whose net worth as of February 2021 was put at $2.1 billion, has demanded a probe into rumours of his arrest over money laundering, noting that he was never arrested for any reason in 2019.

He said he was surprised when his attention was drawn to a news report in the media that he was arrested in Lagos with a huge sum of money.

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