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Lawmakers: Women can now choose father’s or husband’s state of origin after marriage

Valentine Chinyem

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The House of Representatives yesterday amended the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, etc Act) 2004 to give married women the option of choosing the indigeneship of their fathers or husbands.

This followed the passage of “A bill for an act to amend the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, etc) Act, 2010, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, Cap F7 to give married women the option of indigeneship and for related matters”.

The lawmakers amended clauses 1, 2, 3 and the explanatory memorandum of the principal Act at the Committee of the Whole yesterday; it was earlier committed to the Committee of the Whole on April 25.

Section 2 of Part II of the principal Act was substituted with a new Section 2, which now reads: “A married woman shall have the option to lay claim to her state or local government of origin for the purpose of implementation of the Federal Character formulae at the national level or state level as the case may be.”

The bill is now to be cited as the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, etc) Act, (Amendment Bill), 2017.

In the last constitution amendment, Citizenship and Indigeneship bills seeking to alter Section 25 of the Constitution to guarantee a married woman’s right to choosing either her indigeneship by birth or by marriage for the purposes of appointment or election was passed in the Senate but was defeated in the House.

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