• Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Samoa Agreement recognises Nigeria’s anti-gay law, constitution – NBA clarifies

Yakubu-Maikyau

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has clarified its stance regarding the controversial Samoa Agreement, emphasising that it would have advised the federal government to reject the agreement if it contained LGBTQ+ provisions.

The NBA said its one of the stakeholders invited by the federal government to review the Samoa Agreement before its signing.

Yakubu Maikyau, the NBA president, in a statement released on Monday, said a committee led by Olawale Fapohunda, former attorney-general of Ekiti, was established to vet and advise the government on the pact.

Recent reports suggested that the Samoa Agreement included provisions mandating countries to endorse same-sex relationships and LGBTQ+ rights.

However, the federal government refuted these claims, asserting that it signed the agreement solely for economic development purposes, adding there is no mention of LGBTQ+ or same-sex marriage within the agreement.

The Samoa Agreement serves as the overarching framework for European Union (EU) relations with African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries. Signed on November 15, 2023, it took effect on January 1, 2024, providing a new legal framework for EU relations with the 79 countries collectively forming the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS).

The NBA clarified that the Samoa Agreement recognised Nigeria’s same-sex marriage prohibition law and upholds the supremacy of the 1999 Constitution.

“That is to say, 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 since advised the Federal Government not to enter or engage in any form of partnership or agreement that has the ability to undermine the sovereignty of our nation in any way.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, the SAMOA agreement does not, in any way, seek to compromise our existing legislations nor undermine the sovereignty of Nigeria,” the NBA said.