The Gumel Local Government Council of Jigawa, has enacted a new law stating that the presentation of gifts, horse riding, alien ceremonies and musicals during wedding ceremonies now attract the penalty of imprisonment or payment of fines, Peoples Gazette reports.
This is contained in the marriage expenses control bill signed by the local government chairman Aminu Sani Gumel and directed to the area’s chief imam.
The expenses control bill, which was signed on February 10, came amidst growing concerns about ostentatious expenses of marriage ceremonies.
In the document seen by Peoples Gazette, the law states that the trousseau must not exceed six wearing clothes or apparels, three pairs of shoes, three pairs of earrings and necklace, three pieces of veils or hijabs, three pieces of head tie and three sets of cosmetics, notwithstanding the groom’s social status.
The new law also said cases where the groom is paying money equivalent to the trousseau it must not exceed N100, 000, his financial status notwithstanding and must be delivered by his representatives.
“Wedding presents by a groom, wife or parent of the groom, all alien ceremonies including Arab night, Fulani night, Kauyawa night or day are all prohibited,” the law said. “Anyone who contravenes them has committed offences.”
It also prohibited all musicals that involves the mingling of the opposite sex and anyone who must engage in horse riding must seek permission from the emirate council.
On the punishment for contravention, the law stated that any offender risks three months’ imprisonment or a fine not exceeding N50,000.
Jigawa, a rural and conservative state, adopted the Sharia and similar Islamic doctrines in 2000. Although the latest law was not immediately connected to the Sharia, it was nonetheless designed to help young men marry earlier without being bogged down by financial obligations.
The Gazette heard of widespread concerns that marriage programs are too costly and preventing youths from getting married in the northwestern community.
But it was unclear how the law would be applied against political and business elite around the local government, most of whom prefer expensive wedding ceremonies for their children.
Conservative Islamic rules are widely popular across northern Nigeria, but some residents often express reservations about their enforcement, which many said often targets everyday citizens more than the elite.
Over the past decade, alcoholic drinks worth billions of naira have been destroyed across northern states under stringent Islamic regulations, while those found to be trading or purchasing alcohols have been prosecuted. Yet, reports over the years have also exposed the elite having alcohols without being arrested.
In another development, on Tuesday, Freedom Radio Kano report the arrest of a senior Hisbah official who was caught with a married woman in a hotel. The official himself, whose name has yet to be disclosed, was in charge of prosecuting beggars and prostitutes.
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