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Niger Speaker Suspends Mass Wedding Following Minister’s Legal Action



Niger Speaker Suspends Mass Wedding Following Minister’s Legal Action

The Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, has announced the suspension of the planned mass wedding of 100 orphan girls in his constituency, News About Nigeria reports.

This decision comes in the wake of legal action taken against Sarkindaji by the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Ohannaya, who filed a court injunction to halt the event.

During a media briefing on Tuesday, Sarkindaji expressed his discontent with the minister’s intervention, accusing her of overstepping her authority.

He said that the minister had no right to interfere in the matter and challenged her to take over responsibility for the wedding if she was genuinely concerned.

Sarkindaji revealed that he had already provided funds for the wedding to the girls’ parents through local traditional leaders and clerics in his constituency. 

Despite the suspension, he stated that the funds would not be withdrawn.

Clarifying his initial support for the wedding, Sarkindaji explained that his intentions were driven by the poverty faced by the girls’ parents, rather than as part of a constituency project, contrary to media reports.

Meanwhile, News About Nigeria reported that Minister Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye filed a court injunction and petitioned the Inspector-General of Police over Sarkindaji’s plan. 

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Monday, the minister said her ministry will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the issue. 

She said that the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs would take responsibility for the education and vocational training of the girls, ensuring that their rights are protected and their futures are secured.

Kennedy-Ohanenye stressed that every child’s rights must be upheld, citing the Child Rights Act, which affirms that every child belongs to the state and should be safeguarded from harm and violence. 

She said that her ministry would not hesitate to engage in a legal battle to prevent any actions contrary to the welfare of the girls involved.