It has become a common practice in Nigeria for parties who intend to contract a statutory marriage to marry first under customary law before the solemnization of the statutory marriage. This practice may be explained by the fact that though Western civilization and culture have permeated Nigerian society, most people, even the most sophisticated understandably regard themselves as bound by the customary law of their place of origin. The Nigerian Marriage Act has given validity to this practice by enabling who are married under Customary Law to marry each other under the statute.
Some legal questions arise from this practice. It is uncertain whether the statutory marriage supersedes, for all intent and purposes, the previous customary-law marriage, or if the customary law marriage is merely put into abeyance to retrieve after the subsequent statutory marriage has come to an end. There is also the question of whether both marriages co-exist.
The purpose of this project will be to examine all this questions and the position of such marriages and the associated problems in Nigeria.