Court stops Islamic Cleric from marrying 16-year-old girl as ninth wife

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A Court sitting in Akure, Ondo State has quashed plans by one Alhaji Yusuf Lateef, an Islamic Cleric to marry a 16-year-old teenager who was said to be a secondary school girl as his wife number nine.

THE DAILY VENDOR gathered that trouble started when the Islamic cleric pressured the girl’s family into accepting to give out the teenager in marriage to him after he made his intentions known to the family in 2019 when the girl was still 15 years.

It was learnt that the girl fled from her parent’s home after the cleric in agreement with the girl’s family fixed 16th April, 2020 for the marriage ceremony and arrangements kicked off.

She was said to have escaped to the state’s capital, Akure, where she took refuge at the state’s Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

The Ministry however took up the matter, and after preliminary investigations, it immediately invited the cleric and the girl’s parents for questioning.

The Ministry later dragged them before a family court for contravening part 3 of the 2007 Ondo State Child Rights Law.

The Family Court ruled and ordered that the girl be returned to her parents without any marriage, adding that her education must continue.

The court also ruled that Alhaji Yusuf Lateef be made to sign an undertaking to stay away from the girl as well as ensure that no harm came to her.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Titilola Adeyemi, while reacting to the development condemned the action of the parents and cleric for attempting to forcefully trade her into marriage. 

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The commissioner said, forcing the teenage girl into marriage was like denying her a future and education.

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