A nine-year-old primary four pupil (name withheld) from Domiento, a
farming community in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District of the Northern
Region, has been rescued from a forced marriage.
Three persons have since been arrested in connection with the crime, which resulted in a bizarre case of murder in the family.
The terrified young girl is currently in the custody of her biological
mother under the supervision of leaders of the community, who have
promised to ensure her safety henceforth.
The stepfather of the victim reportedly married her off to his
56-year-old farmer friend in a different community despite fierce
resistance from some family members who complained about the 47-year age
gap between the ‘husband and wife’.
According to police investigators, the girl, under the arrangement, was
made to stop school and move into the home of her husband to begin
married life against her wish.
Her stepfather insisted it was in line with the customs and traditions
of the area, and that if they were prevented from going ahead with the
arrangement, there would be dire consequences.
Customary rites were subsequently performed by the stepfather and the
nine-year-old was taken away by kinsmen of her would-be husband to be
handed over to him.
She was compelled despite her age to begin performing her conjugal
duties as a wife to her husband who, it is gathered, is already married
to about four wives.
In another development, an elder sister of the youngster, Serwah
Biladel, 25, said to be pregnant, was allegedly clubbed to death by her
brother when she fiercely resisted the marriage arrangement of her
younger sister and the older man.
The brother, who was identified as Wunang Jijri, 27, was reportedly a
direct beneficiary of the forced marriage and allegedly received free
drinks and guinea fowls.
He allegedly accused his sister of showing gross disrespect to their father and subsequently killed her.
Police at Bunkpurugu, who earlier arrested Wunang Jijri, have equally
gone ahead to arrest the stepfather and husband of the youngster and are
pressing criminal charges against all three.
The little girl has since been rescued from the forced marriage to
enable her continue schooling while elders in the area have been tasked
to keep watch over her.
DAILY GUIDE gathered that kinsmen who contracted the marriage would also be arrested for conspiring to commit a crime.
Credit: Daily Guide