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Human Rights Lawyer dismisses age debate, insists whether 12 or 16 child marriage violates law

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The Nungua Traditional Council has stated that Naa Yoomo Ayemuede, the spouse of Gborbu Wulomo of Nungua, Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII, is currently 16 years old, and not 12, as previously reported.

This statement contradicts the age of 13 given by the Mankralo of the Nungua traditional area in an interview with Bernard Avle on the **_Citi Breakfast Show_** on **_Citi FM_** Tuesday morning.

The priest, Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII, wed the girl in a traditional ceremony that took place on Saturday.

Facing criticism, community leaders have defended their actions, stating that outsiders do not understand their customs and traditions.

Footage and images from Saturday’s elaborate event, attended by numerous community members, have been widely disseminated on social media, sparking widespread outrage among Ghanaians.

During the ceremony, a woman, speaking in the local Ga language, instructed the girl to dress provocatively for her husband. Further advice was given to the girl to prepare for marital duties and to use the gifted perfumes to enhance her attractiveness to her husband. These comments have intensified the public outcry, as they suggest that the marriage was not merely symbolic.

When Human Rights Lawyer, Abdulai Jalaldeen, spoke to Mark Smith on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show, he mentioned that the contention around the girl’s age is irrelevant because the girl is still under 18.

“Whether the age is 13 or 16, there is still a conflict with that tradition and the law. It is known to everyone that in Ghana, you cannot get married when you are not 18. Despite that at 16 they have the right to consent to sex, it doesn’t mean that they can get married. The law that talks about consent to sex does not talk about marriage. There is a contradiction between the traditions and the law,” he said.

Mr. Jalaldeen insisted that “at this age, the girl cannot consent to marry.”

He went on to suggest to the Ghana Police Service to invite the priest in question “to get more information about what is happening.”

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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