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Nigeria woman sues father for attempted forced marriage


Nigeria woman sues father for attempted forced marriage


In Kaduna State, Nigeria, a Shari’a Court heard a case where a 20-year-old woman named Fatima took legal action against her father, Aliyu Muhammad, for compelling her to wed a stranger despite her objections.

According to local media, Fatima had expressed her love for another person to her father, but he had threatened to take her to the village and arrange her marriage. The woman’s lawyer, Malam Bulama, clarified that Fatima did not take her father to court out of disrespect.

Muhammad argued that his late parents had chosen the groom for his daughter, and he wanted to honor their wishes. Nevertheless, Judge Malam Aiyeku Abdulrahman ruled that while the father has the right to select a spouse for his daughter, coercive marriage was not acceptable.

The court advised Muhammad to allow Fatima to introduce the person she wants to marry, and if he approves of the suitor’s religion and character, he should allow her to proceed with the union as her father.


The ruling by Judge Abdulrahman was seen as a significant victory for women’s rights in Nigeria, where forced marriages remain a prevalent issue. It is a clear indication that the country’s legal system recognizes that every person has the right to choose whom they marry, and no one should be forced into marriage against their will.


The case of Fatima also highlights the importance of legal representation for women in Nigeria who may face cultural and traditional practices that infringe on their rights. Her lawyer, Malam Bulama, played a crucial role in ensuring that Fatima’s voice was heard in court, and the court ruled in her favor.


For Fatima, the ruling means she can now marry the person she loves without fear of being coerced into a union against her will. It also sets a precedent for other women who may find themselves in a similar situation.


Overall, the case highlights the need for continued efforts to raise awareness and promote gender equality in Nigeria, particularly in the area of women’s rights.

The ruling is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to ensure that every woman in Nigeria has access to justice and can exercise her rights freely.

The issue of forced marriages in Nigeria has been a long-standing concern, particularly in the northern region where the prevalence of such practices is high. It is often rooted in cultural and religious beliefs that prioritize the family’s interests over the individual’s rights, particularly women.


While Nigeria’s constitution prohibits forced marriage and gives individuals the freedom to choose whom they marry, many women continue to face pressure from their families to enter into marriages they do not want. This pressure can manifest in various forms, including emotional blackmail, threats, and physical violence.


The case of Fatima highlights the need for a multi-faceted approach to addressing the issue of forced marriages. This includes raising awareness and education campaigns aimed at changing cultural attitudes towards women’s rights, providing legal representation for women who have been subjected to forced marriages, and enforcing existing laws against such practices.

It is also essential to involve communities and religious leaders in efforts to address forced marriages, as they can play a critical role in changing cultural practices that infringe on women’s rights.

The ruling by the Shari’a Court in Kaduna State in favor of Fatima sends a powerful message that forced marriage is not acceptable and that women have the right to choose whom they marry. While the fight against forced marriages is far from over, this ruling is a significant step towards promoting gender equality and protecting women’s rights in Nigeria.






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My name is Ernest Arthur, a writer for MyNewsAfrica under the stage name Ernest East. I was born and raised in Dunkwa-On-Offin, a small town in the central Region of Ghana. As a journalist, I hold myself to high standards of accuracy, fairness, and integrity in my reporting. I'm committed to upholding the principles of journalism and to bringing transparency and truth to the news. Today, I stand tall as one of Ghana's most respected journalists, and I'm proud to have contributed to the growth and development of the country's media landscape. I'm excited about the future and can't wait to continue sharing stories and making a difference through my work. Email: Watsap:+233553678245