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FG Bans Same S-x Marriage

Posted by From Josephine Lohor in Abuja on 2006/01/18 | Views: 782 |

FG Bans Same S-x Marriage


The Federal Government took a major step towards banning same s-x marriage in Nigeria, by approving a Bill for an Act to make provisions for the Prohibition of Relationship between Persons of the Same S-x, Celebration of Marriage by them and for other Matters Connected Therewith.

The Federal Government took a major step towards banning same s-x marriage in Nigeria, by approving a Bill for an Act to make provisions for the Prohibition of Relationship between Persons of the Same S-x, Celebration of Marriage by them and for other Matters Connected Therewith.

The Bill, presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC), yesterday, by the Minister for Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Bayo Ojo (SAN), seeks a five-year jail term for offenders and people who aid and support such act in any way.

The Federal Government said checkmating same s-x marriage has become expedient, to stop its indulgence by Nigerians, adding that passing the Bill by the National Assembly was important, because "we believe that despite all the pretensions about this kind of thing, Nigeria is still basically a conservative society.

"We know the values that we hold here as a people and so government decided to say that let us check basically the possible erosion of our value system," Minister for Information and National Orientation, Frank Nweke said.

Giving further insight into the Bill, Ojo said "the various parts of the bill are interpretation, validity and recognition of marriages, prohibition, non-recognition of marriages of same s-x , prohibition of marriages of same s-x in any of the recognised places of worship like churches, mosques and customary courts, offences under the law.

"Section seven provides for offences, and it is an offence for anybody to contract a marriage or have a relationship with a person of the same s-x.. If you do, it carries a sentence of five years imprisonment without the option of fine, and if you aid or support in any way, anybody of the same s-x to contract a relationship or marriage, it will also attract five years imprisonment."

Ojo said "state high courts and the Federal high courts have jurisdiction to deal with such offences.Basically, it is unAfrican to have a relationship of the same s-x. If you look at the holy books, the Bible and the Koran, it is prohibited. The issue is that we don’t want such incidents to crop up in our nation.

"Things like rallies and relationships or amorous relationships being displayed in public are all included in the bill.

"We all know that marriage is a unique institution between a man and a woman, and this fact is universally acknowledged and it is also contained in the holy books. But in recent times, incidents of marriage or relationships between people of the same s-x has been growing in the developed world.
"Just in December, this incident crossed over to South Africa, we got worried. President olusegun Obasanjo then thought it fit that we should bring a bill to council, to prohibit the relationship and marriage between people of the same s-x. This bill was brought to council today and was passed with certain amendments," Ojo added.

Nweke recalled that "during the last International Conference on AIDS and S-xually Transmitted Diseases (ICASA), held in Abuja, one of the groups that engaged in a march past made a call for recognition of that kind of thing in Nigeria. Of course, government has frowned at this kind of development."

The Federal Executive Council also yesterday, approved N167.504.148 million for the purchase of furniture for the Ministry of Petroleum Resources which has since 2004 been allocated five floors at the NNPC Towers, Abuja, just as it approved another N63 million inclusive of VAT for consultancy services to Messrs KPMG Professional Services that has been engaged by the Chief Ernest Shonekan-led Committee on the Consolidation of Emoluments last year.
The FEC also approvedN763,547,099.00 million for the rehabilitation of four power sub-stations at the State House, Three Arms Zone, Eyadema Road and the Yakubu Gowon Crescent; N5.4 billion for the completion of rehabilitation of the 74 kilometre Nasarawa to Loko Road in Nasarawa State; N440,686,785 million for the limited rehabilitation of the Onitsha – Enugu State dual carriageway, N508 million as augmentation of contract for the reconstruction and asphalt laying of the Okigwe – Afikpo road in Ebonyi State that was awarded in 2001 but abandoned because of the variation order.
Augmentation of contract sum for the Ota – Abeokuta road in Ogun State that was first awarded in 2000 to Julius Berger was also approved by Council.


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