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No Provision In Samoa Agreement For Nigeria To Accept LGBTQ Rights, Says NBA President Maikyau

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No Provision In Samoa Agreement For Nigeria To Accept LGBTQ Rights, Says NBA President Maikyau

The Samoa Agreement does not seek to compromise Nigeria’s laws or undermine its sovereignty, says NBA President Yakubu Maikyau.

In response to growing concerns and misinformation regarding the Samoa Agreement, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau has issued a statement.

His statement debunked reports flying around that the Samoa Agreement signed by the Federal Government requires Nigeria to endorse or accept LGBTQ rights as a pre-condition to acess an alleged loan facility of $150 billion.

He made it known that “Prior to 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, a committee led by Mr. Olawale Fapohunda, SAN, former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ekiti State, was tasked with vetting the document.

The statement said, “My attention was drawn to publications in newspapers and social media platforms, to reactions by some Nigerians to the signing of the SAMOA Agreement by the Federal Government; the alleged clauses in the agreement requiring Nigeria to endorse or accept LGBTQ rights, as a pre-condition to access an alleged loan facility to the tune of $150, 000, 000, 000.00 (One Hundred and Fifty Billion USD), only.

“Contrary to the narrative being propagated either due to ignorance of the content of the agreement or, a deliberate intention to mislead the public (neither of which is good), I wish to state that there is no provision in the SAMOA Agreement which requires Nigeria to accept or in anyway recognise LGBTQ or gay rights, either as a pre-condition for a loan of $150 Billion USD or at all. 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). 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 anyway. For avoidance of any doubt, the SAMOA Agreement does not, in any way, seek to compromise our existing legislations nor undermine the sovereignty of Nigeria.”

Maikyau also highlighted the importance of public education on the true content of the SAMOA Agreement, urging stakeholders “who have had the opportunity of engaging with Government on this agreement prior to its execution, and others who have read and understood the objective of the agreement to endeavour to educate the public on its true content.”

He therefore called for caution and proper dissemination of accurate information to prevent misleading the public along sensitive cultural and moral lines.

The SAMOA Agreement, named after the country where it was signed, is a comprehensive legal framework between European Union (EU) member states and over half of the 79 members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS). It focuses on six main areas: democracy and human rights, sustainable economic growth, climate change, human and social development, peace and security, and migration and mobility.

Melissa Enoch

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