80% of marriages ordained in the Islamic religion in Ghana are not valid according to the Registrar General’s Department.
This was disclosed by Mr Oladele Kwaku Aribike, Head of marriages at the Registrar General’s Department, at a round table discussion on the theme “Working together for a better Society” organized by civic society organisation, Telling Ghana.
The Registrar General’s Department amongst its “core mission is to ensure the efficient and effective administration of entities inter-alia the registration of Marriages ” to the Ghanaian citizenry irrespective of religion or social status.
Mr Aribike said the invalidity of these marriages was due to the failure of couples to register their union within one week as stipulated by the laws of the country.
“The bridegroom, the bride, two witnesses to the marriage and the Mohammadan priest licensed under section 31 shall before the expiration of one week after the celebration of the marriage attend at the office of the district assembly for the purpose of registering the marriage,” he said.
Adding that, “this means the marriage should be registered within one week of the celebration of the marriage if it is not registered within one week, that marriage is null and void. And on this, I will like to say on authority that almost 80 per cent of Islamic marriages are not valid.”
Member of Parliament for the Asawase Constituency, Hon Alhaji Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak consequently submitted that it was critical for the department to engage all stakeholder in broad consultation on the process.
Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu who spoke on behalf of the National Chief Imam,adding his voice to the topic said the passing of the Muslim Marriage and divorce bill will help mitigate the sharp rise of divorce cases in Muslim communities.