- Category: POINTBLANK
- Published on Friday, 16 April 2010 00:16
Two paedophiles are currently in the news in Nigeria. One is Former Zamfara governor Ahmed Sani Yerima who took a 13-year-old Egyptian girl as a fourth wife and paid $100,000 (about N15 million) to her family as bride price.
The other is Harrison Eze, who have been remanded by an Abuja Magistrate‘s court on Wednesday, in prison custody for alleged forceful carnal knowledge of a minor.
The prosecutor, Sergeant Ambi Ayuba, told the court that the accused, a 21-year-old man, committed the offence on April 6, at about midnight in a bush. Ayuba said the offence contravened section 275 of the penal code.
According to the prosecutor, the accused accosted the minor while she was returning from an errand and forcefully had sex with her without her consent.
But the Former Zamfara governor Ahmed Sani who had taken a 13-year-old Egyptian girl as a fourth wife and paid $100,000 (about N15 million) to her family as bride price is walking free with swagger in the National Assembly as “Honourable Senator” of the Federal Republic.
The wedding took place at the Abuja National Mosque three weeks ago and was witnessed by the girl’s family which was flown to Abuja for the ceremony.
It was learned that Sani divorced one of his four wives in order to be able to marry this one. He had been married and divorced many times in order to marry younger women. He is using his wealth to oppress the society. He continues to abuse the girls.
According to Leadership, the wedding could only take place in Abuja and not Egypt because the authorities in the North African country could not sanction it. Their laws, we were informed, do not permit such unwholesome unions.
Even more alarming was the information that followed from other sources that Sani, who is now a senator had to divorce another young girl who has borne one child for him and is about the same age as her Egyptian counterpart.
The divorce was necessary in order not to exceed the decreed number of four wives for Muslim men.
Eze denied the allegation when the one-count charge of procuration of a minor was read to him. Counsel to the accused, Mr. Chiemeka Okereke, urged the court to admit his client to bail. The prosecutor objected to the application on the grounds that the police had not concluded investigation on the matter.
He said the hospital where the minor was treated after the forceful sex had not issued a medical report on her condition. The magistrate, Mrs Njideka Duru, upheld the objection of the prosecution and asked the defence lawyer to formally apply for bail for the accused.
Duru adjourned the case to April 16, to rule on the bail application.
Meanwhile a group, Women Empowerment and Legal Aid, has urged the Federal Government to arrest and prosecute a former Governor of Zamfara State and a serving Senator, Ahmed Sani, for child trafficking without further delay.
WELA in a statement by its Chairperson, Mrs. Funmi Falana, said that the action was illegal and reminded Sani that marriage to under age girls violated all known laws, especially the Child’s Rights Act which is an existing law in Nigeria.
It further decried Sani’s bid to marry the Egyptian girl, saying that the senator ought to know that the act of child marriage was abhorred in all civilised societies.
The statement reads in part, “WELA denounces Senator Sani’s violation of the right of this innocent girl who has been forced into a marriage that is inimical to her health and well-being and detrimental to her enjoyment of other rights and freedoms to which all human beings are entitled, especially children of her age. Under the Child’s Rights Act, the girl should be in school receiving education to prepare for a rewarding future.
“Since the Government of Nigeria has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Protocol on the Rights of the Child and domesticated the Protocols into the Child Rights Act 2003, we urge the Government to do more in ensuring that citizens of the country, no matter how highly placed, abide by all provisions of the convention.
“Having ratified and domesticated the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Federal Government is under a legal obligation by virtue of Article 18(3) thereof to ensure the elimination of every discrimination against women and also ensure the protection of the rights of the woman and the child as stipulated in international declarations and Conventions.”
The group also urged the Federal Government to regulate the marriage of under age girls and stop the abuse and exploitation that is very common in the country.