A marriage which was supposed to take place between a 40-year-old man and a 13-year-old primary 5 pupil of of POWA Primary School in Abuja has been interrupted by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
The commission stopped the marriage which was scheduled to take place on Friday, July 24, 2015 after investigation which was stirred by an intelligence report.
According to a statement by the Chief Press Officer of the Commission, the Commission deemed it fit to stop the ceremony and retrieved the minor from the offender’s house.
They further invited the supposed groom identified only as Mr Ibrahim as well as all parties involved in the ceremony for interrogation.
The commission pointed out that the girl in question was under 18 years which is the prescribed age by the law.
The action breached the dictates of Section 21, 22, 23 of the Child Rights Act 2003 which prohibits child marriage or betrothal, and is punishable by five years imprisonment or 500,000 naira fine alternatively.
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, Channels reports.
Angwe called on parents and guardians to desist from offering their children under 18 to early marriage, adding that the act not only goes against the law but also has psychological, social and health implications on them.