Alhaji Yusuf Lateef has been stopped from taking a 16-year-old as wieves
After stopping her forced marriage to an Islamic cleric known as Alhaji Yusuf Lateef, a court in Akure, Ondo state reunited a 16-year-old secondary school student (names withheld) with her parents.
The court chaired by Justice Aderemi Adegoroye directed the girl to return to her family for proper treatment and education, and cautioned Lateef to stay away from her, according to TheNation.
Lateef was to make the 15-year-old teenager his 9th wife in 2019.
It was assembled that Alhaji Lateef had approached the parents of the girl and in 2019 sought out her hand in marriage.
Notwithstanding the teenager’s outrage, her parents forced her to accept the proposal, and the marriage had a day scheduled.
The teenager fled their Ore home on the day fixed for the marriage with support from her brother to Akure, the state capital.
She was said to have went to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development where she was sheltered and legal works began to stop the marriage.
Alhaji Lateef and the girl’s parents were arraigned at the Family Court for breeching Part three of the 2007 Ondo State Child Rights Law.
After hearing from the defendants, the court ruled that the girl be returned to her parents and Alhaji Lateef be made to sign an undertaking to stay away from her as well as ensure no harm comes her way.
Ondo Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Titilola Adeyemi, said it was victory for children in the state.
“We are excited the matter has gone that way. That will be a warning to everybody that it is no to child marriage in Ondo State. Child marriage is denying a child her future. We must make sure we work for the child to realise her future.”
The girl said she intended to further her education as well as be a good woman in the future.
She was handed back to her parents after staying away from her parents for one month and the Cleric was warned to stay away from her henceforth.