Niger Speaker Dragged to Court Over Move to Marry off 100 Girls

Niger Speaker has come under heavy criticism over his plans to help 100 female orphans in his constituency. Barrister Abdulmalik Sarkindaji announced that he would marry off the ladies in May, who are victims of banditry and terrorism in Niger state, and he would pay their dowries in full. Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, minister of women affairs, was however not pleased with this move as she vowed to sue the lawmaker and assist the ladies.

Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, minister of women affairs, has petitioned the inspector-general of police (IGP) and sought a court injunction to halt the marriage of 100 girls in Niger state. Niger Speaker dragged to court after announcing plans to marry off 100 orphans.

Recall that Barrister Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, speaker of the Niger state house of assembly, said he would sponsor the wedding of 100 girls (orphans), who lost their parents in banditry attacks in the Mariga Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger state, as part of his constituency project.

Niger Speaker Dragged to Court Over Move to Marry off 100 Girls

Many in the polity countered this announcement but the speaker explained that he was only financing the wedding, not forcing the girls into marriage.

Reacting to the public outcry, Kennedy-Ohanenye said the plan is unacceptable, and that the future of the girls should be a priority, The Cable reported. Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Monday, May 13, the minister said a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the issue will be carried out. She added that the ministry will take responsibility for the girls’ education and vocational training, RadioNigeria reported.

“I want to let the honorable speaker of house in Niger state know that this is totally unacceptable by Federal Minister Of Women Affairs and by the government. Because there is something called the Child’s Right Act and I said it from the onset, that is no more business as usual,” Kennedy-Ohanenye said.

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