NBA Clarifies Nigeria’s Stance on LGBTQ Rights in SAMOA Agreement Controversy

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By milcah tanimu

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has clarified that Nigeria does not recognize same-sex marriage amidst controversies surrounding the SAMOA agreement. NBA President Yakubu Maikyau emphasized that the agreement does not compel Nigeria to accept LGBTQ rights as a condition for its benefits.

In a statement, Maikyau stated, “The agreement respects the local laws and sovereignty of the contracting nations, including Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2023, and the supremacy of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).”

The NBA stressed that if the agreement had mandated Nigeria to recognize LGBTQ rights, it would have advised the Federal Government against any partnership that could compromise the country’s sovereignty. “To be clear, the SAMOA agreement does not seek to undermine our existing legislation or the sovereignty of Nigeria,” the NBA asserted.

Prior to signing the SAMOA agreement, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning requested the NBA to review it. Consequently, Maikyau formed a committee led by Olawale Fapohunda, SAN, former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Ekiti State, to evaluate and advise on the agreement.

The SAMOA Agreement, named after the country of Samoa where it was signed, is a comprehensive legal framework between European Union (EU) member states and more than half of the 79 members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS). It encompasses six main areas: democracy and human rights, sustainable economic growth and development, climate change, human and social development, peace and security, and migration and mobility. It serves as a basis for specific agreements between the EU and the Federal Government, its sub-nationals, or the private sector.

The NBA called on the government to continue public enlightenment efforts and urged other stakeholders to help counter negative perceptions about the agreement.


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