13-yr-old girl saved from being married off to 40-yr-old man

A 13-year-old girl who would have been married off to a 40-year-old man was saved by the Human Rights Commission.

Child Bride (For illustration purpose only)

But for the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), a 13-year-old primary five pupil of the Police Officers Wives Association Primary School in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, would be a married woman today after her parents had concluded arrangements for her to get married to a 40-year-old man as a third wife.

But acting on a tip off by concerned neighbours of the girl's parents, the Commission swung into action and stormed the man's house during the ceremony and invited all parties involved to their office for interrogation, including the man identified as Ibrahim.

After interrogation, the commission cited relevant laws to back its decision to stop the marriage including sections 21, 22, 23 of the Child Rights Act 2003 which prohibits child marriage or betrothal and also punishes the offence with five years imprisonment or an option of N500,000 fine.

The Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Ben Angwe, while referring the matter to the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, for prosecution, expressed the determination of the commission to ensure the implementation of the Child Rights Act and its enforcement against all persons irrespective of their status or religious belief.


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