Samoa Agreement Recognises Nigeria’s Anti-LGBTQ Law, No Clause Requires Acceptance – NBA

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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) says the controversial Samoa Agreement does not contain Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queen (LGBTQ) provisions.

Some reports had claimed that the Samoa Agreement contained provisions that mandate countries to endorse same-sex relationships and LGBTQ rights.

The Federal Government denied the claim, saying it signed the agreement strictly for the economic development of the country, adding that there is nowhere in the agreement where LGBTQ+ or same-sex marriage was mentioned.

However, the Association noted it would have advised the Federal Government to reject the $150 billion agreement, if it reflected such conditions.

The NBA said it was one of the stakeholders invited by the Federal Government to review the Samoa Agreement before it was signed.

In a statement issued and signed by Yakubu Maikyau, NBA’s President, the legal body said a committee headed by Olawale Fapohunda, a former Attorney-General of Ekiti State , was set up to vet and advise the federal government on the pact.

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The NBA said the Samoa Agreement recognises Nigeria’s same-sex marriage prohibition law and the supremacy of the 1999 Constitution.

“That is to say, the SAMOA agreement recognises, for instance, Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2013 and of course, the supremacy of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended),” the statement reads.

“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 any way.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, the SAMOA agreement does not, in any way, seek to compromise our existing legislations nor undermine the sovereignty of Nigeria,” the Monday statement read.

According to the European Council, the Samoa Agreement is the overarching framework for European Union (EU) relations with African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries.

The agreement was signed on November 15, 2023, and took effect on January 1, 2024, to serve as a new legal framework for EU relations with 79 countries collectively forming the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS).