Lady Drags Father To Court Over Attempted Forced Marriage

Adetutu Sobowale

A 20-year-old lady identified as Fatima, on Monday, requested a Sharia Court in Kaduna to intervene and prevent her father, Aliyu Muhammad, from pressuring her into marrying someone she doesn’t know.

Fatima, who spoke through her legal representative, Malam Y.A Bulama, informed the court that she is in love with someone else.

According to Bulam, Fatimah’s father wants her to wed a man from their village in Niger state.

He added that the complainant is currently residing with her aunt as her father threatened to take her to the village and force her into marriage.

The council also mentioned that the complainant did not take legal action against her father as a sign of respect.

“The father wants my client to marry a man in their village in Niger state. Right now she’s living in her aunty’s house because he threatened to take her to the village and marry her off,” the counsel said.

The father, on the other hand, claimed that his deceased parents had already selected the groom for his daughter, and he had to honor their decision.

Speaking further, he said he had already married off six of his daughters in the village, and they are all doing well.

He, however, blamed Fatima’s mother for her obstinacy and requested permission to discuss the matter with his community.

“I married my six daughters off in the village and they are doing well. Fatima’s mother is the brains behind her stubbornness.

“I need permission to consult with my people over this matter,” he said.

Under Sharia law, the judge, Malam Isiyaku Abdulrahman, stated that a father has the authority to select a spouse for his daughter.

However, he made it clear that coercive marriage is not acceptable, and he counseled the defendant to be tolerant of his daughter.

“You are her father, therefore you should pray for the best for her because if you are angry with her she won’t see good things.

“Allow her to present the person she wants to marry and if you are pleased with his religion and character, you allow her to get married”, he said.

The judge also recommended that the complainant should exhibit the traits of a dutiful and respectful daughter.

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