Aptly described by Lawmakers at plenary today as one of the most people-centered Bills in the history of the State Legislature was the Bill sponsored by Rt. Hon. Barr. Kennedy Chidozie Ibeh of Obowo State Constituency and co-sponsored by 13 other Honorable Members. The Bill which is for the codification, certification, regulation and regularization of customary marriage in the State and other related matters was first presented on the floor of the House by the astute Parliamentarian on the 2nd day of February 2021 successfully scaled through second reading today amidst overwhelming endorsements of the Lawmakers and members of the public and reserved for Committee Stage. The chief aim of the Bill is to regulate, harmonize, and to simplify the conduct and contracting of customary marriages in Imo State of Nigeria. Others include but not limited to:
1. Promote our cultural and customary practices;
2. To deemphasize and deprioritize English form of marriage;
3. To subtly discourage neocolonialism especially in the area of marriage;
4. To embellish our customary laws and enrich the jurisdiction of the customary courts and our traditional institutions;
5. To dignify our customary marriages and legitimize them;
6. To eliminate militating factors working against persons who want to be married (Osu, Ume, exorbitant bride prices etc)
The Bill looks forward to a Public Hearing that will witness contributions from Heads of the Traditional Institution in the State, Clerics, Lawyers, and other stakeholders for a more robust Bill.