No LGBTQ Rights Requirement In Samoa Loan Deal – NBA

The Nigerian Bar Association has clarified that Nigeria does not recognise same-sex marriage, addressing the recent controversy surrounding the Samoa agreement.

In a statement signed by NBA President Yakubu Maikyau on Monday, July 8, he emphasised that contrary to widespread belief, there is no provision in the agreement requiring Nigeria to accept LGBTQ or gay rights as a pre-condition for a $150bn loan.

It said, “Instead, the agreement was expressly made subject to the local laws and the sovereignty of the contracting Nations.

That is to say, the SAMOA agreement recognises, for instance, Nigeria's Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2023 and of course, the Supremacy of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).”

The NBA asserted that if the agreement had mandated Nigeria to endorse LGBTQ rights, the association would have advised the Federal Government against entering any partnership that could undermine national sovereignty.

It said, “To avoid any doubt, the SAMOA agreement does not, in any way, seek to compromise our existing legislations nor undermine the sovereignty of Nigeria.

“Before the signing of the SAMOA agreement, the Hon. Minister of Budget and Economic Planning requested the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), as a major stakeholder in the polity, to look at the agreement. Consequently, I constituted a committee chaired by Mr. Olawale Fapohunda, SAN, former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ekiti State and Chairman of the NBA Law Reform Committee, to vet, evaluate and advise on the agreement accordingly.”

The SAMOA Agreement, named after the country of Samoa where it was signed, is a broad legal framework between the European Union member states and over half of the 79 members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS). It serves as a basis for negotiating specific agreements between the EU, the Federal Government of Nigeria, its sub-nationals, and the private sector.

The agreement, according to the Channels TV report on Tuesday, covers 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.

Maikyau called on the government to continue public enlightenment efforts and urged other stakeholders to join in countering the negative perception being promoted about the agreement.

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