Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), has dragged the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohommade Adoke (SAN) and National Assembly before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, challenging what he termed the discriminatory position of the Marriage Act and Matrimonial Causes Act to his Christian belief in marriage.
Agbakoba, in the fundamental rights enforcement suit, is challenging the unconstitutional restriction and interference with his right to religious freedom and freedom from religious discrimination by the state through the Marriage Act and Matrimonial Causes Act contrary to Section 38 and 42 of Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
He is further contending that he is a Christian and so was entitled under the Constitution to conduct his marriage in accordance with Cannon law, but that the state through the Marriage Act and Matrimonial Causes Act compels him to conduct a secular marriage contrary to his faith/belief.
According to him, he wants to, like adherents of other faiths such as African Traditional Religion and Islam, resolve his marriage disputes in courts manned by persons knowledgeable in Cannon law, but is compelled by the state through the Matrimonial Causes Act to use secular courts manned by persons with little or no knowledge of Cannon law.
This, according to his suit, violates his right to religious freedom and freedom from religious discrimination. Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.