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Court Stops Muslim Cleric From Marrying 16-year-old As Ninth Wife

Justice Aderemi Adegoroye of an Akure Family court in Ondo state, has stopped a Muslim cleric, Yusuf Lateef, from taking a 16-year-old girl as his 9th wife.

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According to reports, Lateef had approached the parents of the girl in 2019 when she was 15, to seek her hand in marriage.

Despite protests by the teenager, her parents forced her to accept the proposal, with a day fixed for the wedding.

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But the girl fled their house in Ore to Akure on the supposed wedding day, with support from her brother.

She was said to have gone to the state’s ministry of women affairs and social development, to report her parents.

The ministry provided shelter for her, and began legal works to stop the marriage.

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Lateef and the girl’s parents were arraigned in court on Friday, for breaching Part three of the 2007 Ondo State Child Rights Law.

Adegoroye, ruling on the matter, ordered that the girl be returned to her parents, and that Lateef be made to sign an undertaking to stay away from the teenager, as well as ensure that no harm comes to her.

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Titilola Adeyemi, commissioner in charge of the ministry, later confirmed that the teenager has been returned to her parents, while the Muslim cleric has been warned to stay away from her.

“We are excited the matter has gone that way. That will be a warning to everybody that it is no to child marriage in Ondo State. Child marriage is denying a child her future. We must make sure we work for the child to realise her future.” she added.

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