Puberty Determines Maturity For Marriage, Yerima On #ChildNotBride

In an exclusive interview with Channels Television, Senator Ahmed Yerima of Zamfara state defended his position on the controversial topic #ChildNotBride, an issue he said “is all about the definition of full age”.

The removal of Section 29 (4b) of theNigerian constitution as intended by the National Assembly will leave citizens with Section 29 (4a) alone. This is against Islamic law which states that “any married woman is of full age,” he said, adding that “some don’t know that the provision is available in both the 1999 and 1979 constitutions”.

The Senator who argued his case on the floor of the Senate using Islamic laws as defense, said his position on “any woman who is married shall be deemed full of age” “is provided for in the Quran.”

He cited Chapter four of the Quran to back his argument.

He stated that the “the issue of full age was given based on the maturity, that is, age of puberty of a girl,” adding that he recently discovered that the age of puberty as defined by European laws is given as between 12 and 14.

While arguing his case, he stated that puberty is define by the start of a girl’s menstrual cycle, which may commence at age 9 and “when the breasts are fully mature”.

Asked to set a clear distinction between maturity and puberty, the Senator insisted that “a married woman is a married woman”.

The Child Right’s Act which stipulates the age of maturity as 18 “is not constitutional,” he said, insisting that “once a girl reaches the age of puberty” she is assumed to be matured and determined by her parents and ready for marriage.

On the number of his wives who are under the age of 21, he said that “so long as I don’t do any action that is against Islamic law, I am covered by the Nigerian constitution”.

Stop Defending Underage Marriage, It Is ‘Undefendable’ – Lawyer

A public affairs analyst, Michael Adeleye, has described Senator Ahmed Yerima’s arguments about the legality of marrying underage girls, as an attempt to ‘defend the undefendable’.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, he said “When I listened to Senator Yerima, yesterday, I began to ask questions. Are we living in a society where some laws seem to supercede or reign supreme over the law of the land?”

In his opinion, if a law comes out of a religion and tries to reign supreme over the laws of the land, then I think it’s questionable.

He faulted Senator’s Yerima’s claim that the parents of a girl are the ones to ascertain her maturity. “A parent cannot ultimately decide, but they can give consent”.

Although the particular law in question, Section 29(4b) of the Nigerian constitution, addresses the issue of citizenship, Mr Adeleye argues that a 9, 10 or even 13 year old female cannot be qualified as a ‘woman’ owing to the fact that such an individual does not have the mental capacity to make important decisions.

“Do you think they’re going to be able to make a decision on what’s going to happen to their lives?

He called for a review of the Marriage Act which has not been adopted in all 36 states of the federation, while making reference to the many conventions on the standard age of marriage to which Nigeria is a signatory.

Nigerian Laws Are Business Friendly – Commissioner

A Federal Commissioner with the Nigerian Law Reform Commission, Mr. Kefas Magaji, has declared that Nigerian laws are “business friendly.”

In this edition of Question Time, Mr. Magaji reveals that the major problem of the commission is the implementation of laws. He also talks about other challenges and prospects of the agency.


Laws On Pipeline Vandalism Not Strong Enough – Lawmaker

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources, Peterside Dakuku has said that the laws prohibiting the vandalisation of petroleum pipelines in Nigeria are not strong enough to deter oil thieves.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Dakuku said nobody has either been successfully prosecuted or convicted for pipeline vandalisation in Nigeria.

He said, “we need to strengthen the laws. The punishments are not adequate that’s why it has been slightly difficult to prosecute people successfully. I agree that the laws may not be the only challenge but the current laws need to be strengthened.”

IPMAN Members Not Involved In Oil Thefts – Zonal Chairman

The South West Zonal Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Olumide Ogunmade has exonerated members of his association from the recurrent crime of oil theft and pipeline vandalisation.

Mr Ogunmade, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said there have been various investigations into pipeline vandalisation and no IPMAN member has been indicted.

“We are a very discipline set of people,” he said.