Forced marriage in Bauchi now attracts 2 years imprisonment

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A magistrate Barrister, Amina Garuba has disclosed that the newly enacted Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law in Bauchi state has forbidden forcing girls and women to unwanted marriages.

Amina who is the chairperson VAPP law working group in the state made the disclosure Friday while presenting a lecture on the new law at a one-day training organized by the Bauchi state ministry of women affairs for civil society organizations, women groups and traditional leaders at Pali suites Bauchi.

She explained that the law provides two years imprisonment for the offender or a fine of N500, 000 or both. Apart from that, Amina stated that it is an offence for a partner to evict his spouse forcefully from their matrimonial home noting that the punishment for that is also two years jail terms or a fine of N300, 000.

According to her, the VAPP law which was passed to address violence against persons especially women penalizes rapists by life imprisonment or death by hanging in the case of rape of a minor on conviction.

Other proscribed acts provided by the VAPP law she listed include; prohibition of female circumcision, forced financial dependence, economic abuse, forced isolation from family as well as an abandonment of spouse and children.

“An attempt to commit emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse is an offence. Whoever is convicted of this offence of emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse will be sentenced to not less than one-year imprisonment or a fine of not less than N200, 000 or both”. She added.

In her address, the state commissioner ministry of women affairs Hajara Gidado represented by the permanent secretary of the ministry Ahmed Shehu Lame said the law was passed into law by the state government to protect the human rights of all citizens.

While assuring that the government was committed to the full implementation and enforcement of the law, the commissioner said the workshop was meant to educate the participants on the law so that they could pass the message to others.

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