Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Women Affairs and Human Rights to investigate the report of an alleged abduction and forceful marriage of 14-year-old Miss Habiba Isa in Katsina.
Media reports in the last few days indicated that Isa was allegedly forcefully converted to Islam from Christianity and forcefully married to an aide in the Emir of Katsina’s palace.
The matter was brought before the green chamber by Hon. Nnanna Igbokwe who noted that the alleged marriage was without the consent of Isa’s parents.
He added that the girl’s parents have been threatened and harassed over their request for the release of their daughter.
“Section 21 of the Child’s Rights Act stipulates that no person shall remove or take a child out of the custody or protection of his father or mother or guardian against the will of the father, mother or guardian,” the lawmaker said.
The Act, he added also prohibits marriage to a minor “and any marriage so contracted in null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”
Igbokwe expressed worry that the trend of forceful abductions of minors for marriage may continue if the government does not take action.
The matter was referred to the committee without subjection to debate.