Abolish Section 27 of CAP 127 which makes Islamic marriages invalid – Dwomoh

A Managing Partner at Law Plus Attorneys is advocating for the abolishment of Section 27 of CAP 127 of the law on Islamic marriages.

Dennis Dwomoh explains that the provision renders Islamic marriages invalid when not registered. He was speaking in an interview on JoyNews’ The Law on Sunday, March 19, 2023.

According to him, “In terms of the legal requirement of Islamic marriages in Ghana, there are two tiers – the first is that, perform it in accordance with Islamic law and the second tier is – come and register … so there is a week window for you for validity. Once you do not comply, case law has shown that the court is going to strike it down.”

He added that such a law is unjust, explaining that some of these laws were passed by the colonial masters to control its people.

“How do you say to Matamale that the husband she married for over 30 years that the entire society recognise as husband and wife, you have a law which was passed by the colonial master who wanted to control his people and was using this registration requirement … to ensure that Imams and people who do not abide by the principles will not be given license … These colonial laws have been allowed to sit in our statues for long and its implications are huge.”

According to him, although members of the Muslim Caucus in Parliament are working to pass the new Islamic Marriage and Divorce Bill into law, they should treat it with urgency.

“When it came to E-levy, we saw how the State used all its resources to bulldoze its way through. All that my team is asking for is that can we take away that requirement of invalidation,” he said.

He argued that the law’s Section 27 invalidity clause should be removed so that it is consistent with customary law, adding that even with customary law requirement, even if you do not register it, the law still says it is valid.”

On the same show, a Managing Partner at Hay and Partners at Law, Hanifa Adjoa Yahaya said that the 20% of Islamic marriages that have been considered valid by the Registrar General’s Department may have been registered under the ordinance or as customary marriages.

According to Madam Adjoa Yahaya, her presumption is based on the fact that there are no forms available for Muslims to register their marriages under the Mohammedan or Islamic law.

This assertion by the lawyer comes on the back of a complaint made by the Head of Marriages at the Registrar General’s Department, Oladele Kwaku Aribike during a dialogue session organised by civic society organisation, Telling Ghana, on the theme Working together for a better Society.”

During the dialogue, Mr Aribike disclosed that 80% of Islamic marriages in Ghana are invalid, due to their inability to register under the Mohammedan law.

However, Hanifa Adjoa Yahaya admitted to the host of The Law, Samson Lardy Anyenini, on Sunday, that she was not surprised by the revelation made by Mr Aribike.

“I am not surprised at all. And I’m wondering where the 20% are. Perhaps, they have gone under the CAP 129 or customary marriage. Perhaps, because I know that some people will go and register under the marriage ordinance, because there are no forms at the Registrar General for you [the Muslim] to pick up to register for the Islamic marriage.”

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Source: myjoyonline.com

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