The National Human Rights Commission last week stopped the planned marriage of a 40-year-old man to a 13-year-old girl who is a primary 5 pupil of POWA Primary School in Abuja.
According to Channelstv, the marriage, which was billed to take place on July 24 in Abuja, was halted by the Commission after an investigation.
A statement by the Chief Press Officer of the Commission, said that following a tip off, the Commission interrupted the ceremony and retrieved the minor from the offender’s house and invited all parties involved to the Commission including the groom to be, one Mr. Ibrahim, who had full knowledge that the girl was less than 18 years of age prescribed by Law.
After thorough interrogations, the Commission cited the 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, an offence which is punishable by five years imprisonment or 500,000 naira fine.
The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Professor Bem Angwe, while 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.
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 offend the law but has psychological, social and health implications.
Source: Channels TV