Nigerian senator marries girl of 13

A Nigerian senator has come under fire for marrying an Egyptian girl who is alleged to be 36 years his junior.

Sani Ahmed Yerima, 49, is said to have paid $100,000 as dowry for the 13-year-old girl.

But he has defended his decision to marry a fourth wife as the prospect of being prosecuted looms.

“The Prophet Mohammed married at the age of nine, therefore any Muslim who marries a girl of nine years and above, is following the teachings of the Prophet,” Yerima told News Agency.

“If there’s anybody who’ll tell me that what you did contradicts Islam, I ‘ll submit – and I’ll do whatever they ask me to do.”

Nigerian human rights organizations say Yerima has broken the law and have called for his immediate arrest.

“”If you have a law that says you cannot marry a 13-year-old. If you have a law that says you cannot marry a-15-year old, then why on God’s green earth, will a guy who is a senator, who makes laws, violate or break that same law. It’s because he thinks the law is not applicable to him,” said one rights group official.

Yerima’s problems have been compounded by the fact that the wedding took place in the capital Abuja, where it is illegal to marry under the age of 18.

But in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north, weddings of underage people do not often cause controversy as many northern states have refused to recognize the law making marriage for people under 18 illegal.

They say that ban is against the teachings of Islam.



2 Responses

  1. This issue is critical. What is the stand of Egyptian govt? Was the said marriage registered in the Court of law?
    Senator Yerima is a Law maker in Nigeria. Is Nigerians being ruled by same Constitution, or each zone of the country have different laws? If what affects a Southerner should affect a Northerner, then what are we insinuating? How do we reconcile Christianity, Constitution and Islamic teachings to give room in building one Nigeria?
    If Senator Yerima has done it, and no further explanation is given, can a man from the East do the same and go free?
    Those Leaders who are in charge of this part of the Law should please give more explanations to this issue. Nigerians from other zones apart from the North wants a clearer understanding.

  2. We are in the 21st century for the goodness sake. we cannot be doing the same the people of old did, we cannot be doing the same thing over and over again and expect a change. A 13 year old girl is still a baby. Nothing can justify this so called marriage

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