Commission Stops 40-Year-Old’s Planned Marriage To 13-Year-Old

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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has stopped the
planned marriage of a 40-year-old man to a 13-year-old primary five girl at the
Police Officers Wives Association (POWA) Primary School in Abuja. The marriage
was halted by the commission after an immediate investigation.
Following a tip-off, the commission swung into action and
took the minor away from the man’s house and invited all parties involved to
the commission, including the man, one Mr. 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 Bem
Angwe, while further referring the matter to the Commissioner of Police, FCT
Command for prosecution, also 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.

Against this backdrop, the Executive Secretary enjoined parents
and guardians to be vigilant and ensure that their children and wards are not
exposed to early marriage which does not only violate the law, but also has
psychological, social and health implications.

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