by Mitchelle Uzorka
The Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of Rivers state on Monday sealed off the premises of the Federal Ministry of Interior marriage registry.
This act was to enforce a Federal High Court order issued by Honourable Justice D. E. Osiogor on December 8, 2021.
The court order marked FHC/L/CS/816/2018, has Etiosa LGA of Lagos state; Egor LGA of Edo state; Owerri Municipal LGA and Port Harcourt City LGA as plaintiffs.
The Honourable Minister of Interior, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and Anchor Dataware Solutions Limited were defendants.
Speaking to newsmen after the sealing of the premises, the Secretary, Port Harcourt City Local Government, Barr. Chile-Kay Owuru, said they were empowered by the law to seal the facility.
Owuru further explained that the law empowered only local government councils to conduct marriages and issue certificates.
“Marriage act is the function of the 774 local governments as contained in the constitution”.
Responding to the actions of the local government, a staff of the Federal Ministry of Interior John Oloko, said the local government council court order was fictitious.
He stated, “This issue of local government and the ministry of interior had been going on, there had been judgement on the same issue in 2014, 2016 or thereabout, which had been against them (local government.)
“Now you have a case, if the judgement did not favour you, what are you supposed to do, are you not supposed to appeal?
“They never made appeal first attempt, they never made appeal second attempt, they went to a court of same jurisdiction to take this judgement.
“Even the judgement they are talking about is not the entire ministry, so I am not happy at all with what is happening here today.”