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Women Affairs Minister sues Niger Speaker, petition IGP over planned marriage of 100 orphans

By Samuel Ogunsona

Nigeria Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye
has sued the Speaker of Niger State House of Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, over plan to marry off 100 orphans as part of his constituency project.

The Minister who sought a court injunction to stop the planned marriage has also written a petition to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, seeking his backing to stop the mass marriage slated for May 24.

However, the speaker had pledged to pay the dowries for the bridegrooms and has procured all necessary materials for the mass marriage ceremony.

According to the Minister who stated that the Speaker’s action is contrary to the Child’s Rights Act said his plan is unacceptable.

“These children must be considered, their future must be considered, the future of the children to come out of their marriage must be considered. So I have gone to court. I have written him a letter and written a petition to the IG of Police,” she said.

The Minister has promised that her ministry would take up the burden of educating the orphans.

“Those that do not want to go to school, we will train them in a skill, empower them with sustainable empowerment machines to enable that child build his or her life and make up her mind who and when to get married.

“If for any reason the Speaker tries to do contrary to what I have just mentioned, there will be a serious legal battle between him and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.” She stated.

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