A family law specialist, Mrs Dorcas Aderemi, has advised against the practice of returning bride price to the family of the groom during the process of a customary marriage.
Doing so may invalidate such marriages, said Aderemi who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday.
In compliance with the Marriage Act, the groom’s family is expected to pay a bride price to the family of the bride before sealing the marriage.
The payment of such can be made up of money, gift or a mixture of both.
The practice of returning the bride price by the bride’s family, usually on the grounds that their daughter is not for sale, is, however, common in the western part of the country.
According to the legal practitioner, customary marriage is a type of marriage that is provided for in the Marriage Act in Nigeria.
“The cogent procedure or process for establishing a customary marriage is the payment of the bride price, so when that bride price is returned, it invalidates that event.
“The bride price is important and is covered for in the law. It is also scriptural in religion.
“When the bride price is paid, the group of society that returns the bride price, especially the Yorubas, should stop it.
“This is because it invalidates the process of customary marriage,” she said.
Customary marriage, which is also known as traditional marriage, is a ceremony conducted in accordance with the customs of the families of the bride and groom.