HomeNewsNBA Confirms Samoa Agreement Respects National Laws on LGBTQ+

NBA Confirms Samoa Agreement Respects National Laws on LGBTQ+

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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has addressed concerns surrounding the Samoa Agreement, affirming that the international pact respects Nigeria’s laws, including the prohibition of same-sex marriage. The association has been at the forefront, ensuring that any international agreements entered into by Nigeria align with the country’s constitution and do not contradict existing national laws.

Yakubu Maikyau, President of the NBA, released a statement on Monday detailing the NBA’s involvement in the review process of the Samoa Agreement prior to its signing. According to Maikyau, a committee led by Olawale Fapohunda, the former Attorney-General of Ekiti State, was specifically formed to assess the agreement to ensure its compatibility with Nigerian laws.

Recent speculations have raised concerns that the Samoa Agreement might compel member countries, including Nigeria, to endorse LGBTQ+ rights and same-sex relationships. However, these claims have been firmly refuted by both the federal government and the NBA. The government has emphasized that the primary focus of signing the agreement was economic development, and the agreement itself contains no provisions regarding LGBTQ+ rights or same-sex marriage.

The Samoa Agreement serves as a foundational document guiding the relationship between the European Union (EU) and the countries of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (OACPS). Officially signed on November 15, 2023, and effective from January 1, 2024, it aims to enhance cooperation and support economic growth among the 79 nations that comprise the OACPS.

The NBA has reiterated that the agreement upholds the supremacy of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution, which includes the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2013. This act expressly forbids same-sex marriages within Nigeria and ensures that such provisions are not inadvertently introduced through international agreements.

Maikyau further clarified, “The Samoa Agreement recognises, for instance, Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2013, and of course, the supremacy of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended). If this were not the case, the NBA would have advised the Federal Government not to engage in any form of partnership or agreement that could potentially undermine the sovereignty of our nation.”

This assurance by the NBA is pivotal in maintaining public trust and transparency regarding how international agreements are integrated into Nigeria’s legal framework. It also highlights the NBA’s role in safeguarding the legal interests of Nigeria on the international stage, ensuring that all agreements are in harmony with national laws and values.

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