Persons involved in child marriage must face prosecution if culpable — Attorney-General

Godfred Dame

Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, says all persons involved in the marriage between the young teenage girl and the Gborbu Wulomo must face prosecutions if the allegations against them are proven.

He, therefore, petitioned Dr George Akuffo Dampare, Inspector General of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police Faustina A.K. Andoh-Kwofie, Director-General, Criminal Investigations Department, to conduct the necessary investigation of the alleged child marriage to enable his Office to do the needful.

This was contained in a statement issued by his Office, on Tuesday, April 2.

A marriage ceremony between Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII, the 63-year-old Gborbu Wulomo, and a young teenage girl, has received widespread disapproval and backlash after videos and pictures of the ceremony went viral.

Some accounts put the girl’s age at 12, while others say she is 16.

Some human rights bodies and individuals have also called for the arrest and prosecution of the Wulomo and his alleged accomplices.

The traditional ceremony occurred on Saturday, March 30, 2024, at Nungua, in Accra.

Meanwhile, the Traditional Authorities in Nungua have, at a press briefing Tuesday, defended the act, explaining that the Gborbu Wulomo temple required a virgin girl to undertake some sacred rites, hence the choice of the minor, who was chosen at birth and groomed for six years for the role.

However, the Police have placed the girl and her mother under protection and are working with the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection and the Department of Social Welfare to provide her with the necessary support, while the matter is investigated.

The Attorney-General’s statement quoted sections 14 and 15 of the Children’s Act 1998 (Act 560) which read:

“14. Right to refuse betrothal and marriage (1) A person shall not force a child; (a) to be betrothed, (b) to be the subject of a dowry transaction, or (c) to be married.

“(2) The minimum age of marriage of whatever kind is eighteen years.

  1. Penalty for contravention. A person who contravenes a provision of sections 2 to 14 commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year or to both the fine and the imprisonment.”

The statement urged the Police not to hesitate in contacting the AG’s office should they require further information.

Source: GNA

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