Bill to end Discrimination Against Women Passes First Reading - THE NEW DAWN ONLINE


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Bill to end Discrimination Against Women Passes First Reading

Hon. Adekoya Adesegun Abdel-Majid (Lawmaker representing Ijebu North/Ijebu East/Ogun Waterside Federal Constituency) is the Deputy Minority Whip, House of Representatives for the 9th Assembly

A bill to end discrimination against women through the “Citizenship by Marriage” clause sponsored by the Deputy Minority Whip, Hon. Adesegun Adekoya (lawmaker representing Ijebu North/Ijebu East/Ogun Waterside Federal Constituency) has passed the First Reading on the floor of the Hallowed Chamber, National Assembly today, 18th December 2019.

The bill which seeks to alter the provision Chapter III of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for “Citizenship by Marriage”; and for related matters is meant to allow women in Nigeria share their citizens status with their spouses by virtue of their marriages.

According to the Deputy Minority Whip, “It is discriminatory against women because our Constitution is absolutely silent on matters as sensitive as this. If a Nigerian man marries a foreigner, by virtue of the marriage, the woman (although not born in Nigeria and not of Nigerian parentage) can easily apply for Nigerian citizenship on account of that marriage. But in reverse if a Nigerian woman is married to a male foreigner, the status of that Nigerian woman is presumed inadequate or insufficient to grant citizenship right to that male spouse, and our constitution is wickedly silent on this.

“That is why I have taken it upon myself to remove this veiled and silent discriminatory oversight in our constitution. If it were possible to earn Nigerian citizenship through marriage it should be across board through both genders.”

When finally passed into law, Honourable Adekoya’s bill will “alter Chapter III of the Principal Act by inserting a new Section 28 as set out below;

“28-(1) Subject to the provisions of Section 28 of this Constitution, any person who is qualified in accordance with the provisions of this section may apply to the President for the grant of a certificate of citizenship by marriage.

(2) no person shall be qualified to apply for the grant of certificate of citizenship by marriage unless he satisfies the President that he is a spouse to a Nigerian. (Whether male or female)

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