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Attorney General directs Police CID to investigate alleged case of child marriage

The AG said child marriage is a criminal offence and therefore directs the Police CID to investigate the matter for the AG to do the needful

The Attorney General (AG) Department and Ministry of Justice, has directed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to investigate an alleged case of child marriage which has widely been reported in the media landscape of the country and on social media.

In a letter signed on behalf of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice by Diana Asonaba Dapaah, Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Minister of Justice, and addressed to Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Faustina A.K. Andoh-Kwofie, the Director-General, CID, the AG said child marriage is a criminal offence and therefore directs the Police CID to investigate the matter for the AG to do the needful.

“The attention of the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice has been drawn to publications by various media outlets of an alleged celebration of marriage between one Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIIl and one girl child, Naa Okromo, aged 12 years old.

“As you are aware, sections 14 and 15 of the Children’s Act 1998 (Act 560) provide as follows: 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.

“15, 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 AG’s letter read.

“The allegations, if proven, constitute a criminal offence for which all persons involved must face prosecution. We would appreciate it if you could cause your outfit to conduct the necessary investigation of the alleged child marriage to enable our Office to do the needful. Please do not hesitate to contact our Office should you require further information. Kindly accept the assurances of my highest esteem” the AG”s letter further read.

A 12-year-old girl over the weekend, is alleged to have been “married” to 63-year-old, Gborbu Wulomo, in Nungua, Accra and her mother have been placed under police protection, an official statement from the police said.

The move comes after videos and pictures of Saturday’s customary wedding ceremony between the girl and the priest, Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII, went viral on social media, angering a cross-section of Ghanaians.

In a statement on Tuesday (2 April), the police said it is collaborating with the Gender Ministry and Social Welfare Department to provide the girl with the necessary support while its investigation continues.

“The Ghana Police Service has identified and located the 12-year-old girl who is alleged to have been married to the 63-year-old Gborbu Wulomo in Nungua, Accra.
“The girl and her mother are currently under police protection. The Ghana Police Service is 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 being investigated,” the police statement said.
Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

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