Author Topic: Nigerian senator, 49, under fire over marriage to girl, 13, he paid $100K for  (Read 546 times)

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Nigerian senator, 49, under fire over marriage to girl, 13, he paid $100K for

Source: http://islamizationwatch.blogspot.com/2010/04/nigerian-senator-49-under-fire-over.html

Media reports said Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima, who is 49, allegedly paid 100,000 dollars as dowry and married the unnamed teenager at the National Mosque in the capital Abuja.

ABUJA (AFP) — Nigeria's senate Wednesday ordered a probe into a prominent lawmaker's alleged marriage to a 13-year-old Egyptian girl, after the national rights watchdog and other 10 groups accused him of shaming the country.

The petition by the 11 bodies to the senate, a copy of which was made available to AFP, was presented to the upper house by chairman of senate committee on Women Affairs and Youth Development, Senator Eme Ufot Ekaette.

Some women groups staged a protest outside parliament Tuesday urging the senate to investigate the matter.

Media reports said Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima, who is 49, allegedly paid 100,000 dollars as dowry and married the unnamed teenager at the National Mosque in the capital Abuja.

"The human rights community in Nigeria and beyond has expressed concern and consternation at the alleged actions of the distinguished Senator which are considered both condemnable and patently illegal, especially as they relate to Nigeria's statutory and case law as well as its international status," said the petition.

It said the marriage violated Nigeria's Child Rights Act of 2003 forbidding marriage with anyone under 18. The punishment is a 500,000 naira (3,320 dollar/2,500 euro) fine or a five-year jail term, or both.

The petition said that Nigeria was a signatory to the UNICEF Convention on the Rights of the Child.

It urged the senate to investigate the allegations and to establish the name of the alleged child-bride, her age and the circumstances of her entry into Nigeria.

The groups also want the senate to "establish the legality or otherwise of this action, considering the high personal status of Senator Yerima, his status in society as a lawmaker and leader and the negative effect of such acts on the image of Nigeria."

Wonen Affairs Minister Josephine Anenih however stressed that it had not been established if the alleged marriage had taken place.

"If it is true then it is very objectionable, very obnoxious, very condemnable. It is something we cannot condone or allow to happen in this country," Anenih told reporters.

Yerima was governor of Nigeria's northwestern state of Zamfara and he was the first to introduce the controversial Sharia law.

The National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons on Wednesday ordered Yerima to appear at its office, saying it was in connection with the alleged marriage, which if true, would tarnish Nigeria's image.
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