Friday, 13 December 2013

Things You Need to Know About Civil Wedding or Getting Married at the Registry in Nigeria


The civil marriage is very important as it is recognized by the laws of Nigeria and can on its own serve as proof of a marriage contract between 2 people.

The Civil marriage is protected under the Marriage Act, Chapter 218 of Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 (An Act to make provisions for the celebration of marriages).
There are Two (2) types of Marriage Registries in Nigeria
A. Federal Marriage Registries

a) LAGOS – Ikoyi Registry (covers all those resident in Lagos, South-South, South East and South West)
b) ABUJA – Wuse 2 (covers all those resident in the Northern region)

B. All States have various Registries at the State and Local Government level.

There are some important things you need to know when you decide to have a Civil wedding, these are summarized below in our little guide.

1. FILING OF MARRIAGE NOTICE

a) Once the decision has been made to have a civil wedding, the intending bride or groom pick up a FORM from the Registry of their Choice to indicate their intention to marry. The form is a NOTICE FORM or otherwise called a FORM A. You are required to fill in ALL your personal details including Name, Age, Address, Occupation, Status (Single, Married, Divorced or Widow), Consent (minor under 21 years), Signature etc.

b) You would also need to have TWO (2) coloured passport photographs.

c) The form is posted on the NOTICEBOARD at the Registry for Twenty-one (21) days. The notice is also entered in a book called the Marriage Notice Book, which may be inspected during office hours without fee.

After the expiration of the notice and payment of the Prescribed Fee (this differs at each Registry, but it is usually not more than Two Thousand Naira- N2, 000), the Registrar would issue a FORM C after the following criteria has been met and satisfied:

i) that one of the parties has been resident within the district in which the marriage is intended to be celebrated

ii) that each of the parties to the intended marriage (not being a widower or widow) is twenty-one years old, and if under that age, the consent hereinafter made requisite has been obtained in writing and is annexed to such affidavit……!big grammar, simply means you have to get written permission/consent from the lady’s parent or legal guardian

iii) that there is not any impediment of kindred or affinity, or any other lawful hindrance to the marriage

iv) that neither of the parties to the intended marriage is married by customary law to any person other than the person with whom such marriage is proposed to be contracted.

After this a date is selected for the marriage ceremony

2. OATH TAKING

Once the above-mentioned things have been confirmed, the couple would swear an affidavit before the registrar or recognized minister of religion. During the sworn affidavit, the registrar would reiterate the above Prohibitive degrees and also explain the penalties involved.

Any failure to disclose a breach in any of the above makes the defaulter liable to TWO (2) years imprisonment…! Did I hear you snigger; you get prison time for lying!!

The Registrar signs a declaration/affidavit to show that the couple understands the implications under the law and have met and satisfied all that has been required of them.

The Minister upon proof that there is no lawful impediment to the proposed marriage, and that the necessary consent, if any, to such marriage has been obtained, will dispense with the giving of notice, issue the certificate, and grant his license, known as Form D, authorizing the celebration of a marriage between the parties named in such license.

A date for the wedding is selected by the couple. This would have to be within Three (3) months from the date the notice has been placed with the Registry. ….! Hurdle No 2 crossed! No hidden skeletons. Phew!

3. CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE

The Big Day!

The couple with their families and friends would come in on the day they have chosen to finalize the marriage proceedings. There are a lot of other couples that would be around for their own celebration and as such each couple is given a Specific TIME that must be adhered to; the ceremony is usually less than thirty (30) minutes….! No unnecessary ceremonies, donations etc as against the other types of marriage celebration!! You are done with the whole affair within 2hours MAX!!!

During the proceedings, the Registrar would print the marriage certificates in duplicate and with counterfoils as in the FORM E. The officiating minister will fill up in duplicate a marriage certificate with the particulars required by Form E, and enter in the counterfoil the number of the certificate, the date of the marriage, names of the parties, and the names of the witnesses.
The certificate will be signed in duplicate by the officiating minister, by the parties, and by two or more witnesses to the marriage. The minister having also signed his name to the counterfoil will deliver one certificate to the parties, and within seven days thereafter file the same in his office.

Every Registrar will register the marriage in a book called the MARRIAGE REGISTER BOOK, every certificate of marriage filed in his office according to the FORM F …, ! By the power vested in me, by the Federal Laws, I now pronounce you Husband and Wife! You may kiss the bride :-)

ALL MARRIAGES CELEBRATED UNDER THIS ACT SHALL BE GOOD AND VALID IN LAW FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES. …….

The Civil wedding is the cheapest among the other types of marriage ceremonies, though it has got a longer process and all criteria must be met. The ceremony/celebration is over before you blink and you don’t inconvenience your guests as they are able to return to their various offices (if it’s during the week) or attend other functions (if it’s a weekend).

You can have a civil wedding with FIFTY THOUSAND Naira (N50, 000)……, yes, it can be that cheap!

YOUR TO DO LIST


GROOM
• SUIT ( you can wear one of good suits you have at home, rather than buy a new one)
• Best man attire (you don’t have to wear the same thing)
• Shirt
• Tie (Bowtie, Cravat)
• Rings
• Photography (Videography – optional)
• ‘Thank you’ envelopes - 4 ( this is meant for the officials at the Registry, they don’t ask for it but it is expected)

BRIDE
• Gown (no train gown and nothing flamboyant) or Skirt Suit
• Chief Bride’s maid attire (you don’t need a bridal train)
• Cake (optional)
• Car décor
• Catering (the best option is to have packed food, its neater and easy to manage. You also need to cater for a few officials at the Registry{not compulsory but expected})
• Drinks (Plastic bottles or Cans – takes away the stress of searching and picking bottles) All the food and drinks can be put together in a bag and handed out to the invited guests.

BOTH
• You don’t need to go through the expense of making different souvenirs; you can just make a single memento to hand over to your guests.
• You guest list can be as small as Ten (10) and as much as TWENTY (20)
• You don’t need to have printed invites; Text messages or Emails can suffice
• No expense on Rental i.e. Chairs, Tables etc
• No expense on Event Planner, hall décor etc

Should you wish to entertain your guests properly and have a sit-down with them; you can decide to pick a venue that is in close proximity to the Registry. Here, you would need to have a caterer or just get a friend to cook for you.

You can also decide to change your attire after the Registry to something simple but nice (lace material sown into a skirt or gown…, your choice)

It is good to know that you don’t need to break a bank’s vault to be legally married in Nigeria, no matter your tribe 

So, go ahead and get the ball rolling!!!


DO YOU KNOW?

FEDERAL REGISTRIES ARE EMPOWERED BY LAW TO MARRY A NON-NIGERIAN (FOREIGNER) WHO WISHES TO MARRY A NIGERIAN, PROVIDED HE/SHE HAVE SATISFIED THE STIPULATED REQUIREMENTS BY LAW.

NO MARRIAGE UNDER THE FEDERAL, STATE, OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEVEL IS BY PROXY. BOTH PARTIES MUST BE PRESENT AT THE MARRIAGE PROCEEDINGS.

Culled from NAIRALAND


Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @simplysamad for more exciting gist, photos, interviews, reviews, jokes, quotes and other entertaining content | BB pin: 2B3D28E3.
By: SAMOD BIOBAKU

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