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“Imo women are not getting married due to high cost of marriage and bride price,” Hon. Kennedy Ibeh .As Regulation Of Customary Marriages In Imo Scales Second Reading

Kennedy Ibeh’s Bill On Regulation Of Customary Marriages In Imo Scales Second Reading

A bill seeking to regulate customary marriages in Imo State has passed second reading in the State Legislative House.

The bill consisting of four parts, eleven sections and two schedules, has a long title, “A bill for a law for Codification, Certification and Regulation of Customary Marriages in Imo State and other matters connected thereto or incidental there from”, scaled through second reading during yesterday’s plenary session.

Giving an expose of the bill, the Chief Sponsor, Rt. Hon. Barr. Kennedy Ibeh, who represents Obowo State constituency in IMHA, described it as a peoples’ bill.

Rt. Hon. Kennedy said when passed into law, it would settle all controversies surrounding customary marriages across communities in Imo State.

The vibrant legislator opined that marriage from its inception is a unifying factor that joins people, but regretted that of late, some Communities, Villages and LGAs made it a difficult venture for two persons that loved themselves.

Further analyzing the tenets of the bill, Hon. Ibeh enunciated that when passed into law, it would address the following issues;

“To promote our culture and customary practices; To de-emphasize and deprioritize English form of marriage;

Part of goals according to Barr Kennedy Ibeh involve; “To subtly discourage neocolonialism especially in the area of marriage; To embellish our customary laws and enrich the jurisdiction of our customary courts and our traditional institutions; and; To dignify our customary marriages and legitimize them”.

The Obowo representative maintained that the bill does not in any way contradict to what is already on ground, rather, would help in streamlining the activities therein.

The bill in one of its sections is said to have provisions for fines, and penalties, in case of defaulters, where it is expected that the provisions of the bill when passed into law would be strictly adhered to by all and sundry.

Trumpeta Newspaper gathered that it would strictly discountenance social stratifications like ‘Osu’, ‘Ume’, ‘Diala’,  among others, and defaulters to face the full wrath of the law.

Hon. Kennedy Ibeh however expressed optimism that by the time it scales through the Committee stage, there would be opportunity for public hearing, so as to give the public the opportunity to fair hearing.

After presentation, Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Paul Emeziem committed the bill to joint Committee on Culture and Tourism, and, Judiciary.

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