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Investigate alleged child marriage to enable our Office to do the needful – A-G to Police

The Office of the Attorney-General has instructed the Ghana Police Service to look into the alleged celebration of marriage between one Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII and Naa Okromo, a 12-year-old.

This directive by the A-G in a statement dated April 2, 2024, was sighted hours after the Ghana Police Service reacted to the marriage between a 12-year-old girl and the traditional leader of Nungua, Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII.

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The issue of the marriage sparked widespread public outcry when videos of a full-blown marriage ceremony surfaced on March 30, 2024, leading to demands for the arrest of the 63-year-old and the annulment of the union.

In response to this, the Ghana Police Service in a statement dated in the early hours of April 2, 2024, the police issued their first statement regarding the matter.

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The police in the statement revealed that, “it has identified and located the 12-year-old girl who is alleged to have been married to the 63-year-old Gborbu Wulomo in Nungua, Accra. The girl and her mother are currently under Police protection”.

It added that “the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection and the Department of Social Welfare to provide her with the necessary support while the matter is being investigated”.

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The A-G has assured the Police of its assistance in the investigation.

Ghanaian laws strictly prohibit marriage for individuals under the age of 18. A part of this article examines the relevant sections of the Children’s Act 1998, specifically Act 560, which was amended in 2016.

The act includes provisions to protect children’s rights, including the right to refuse betrothal and marriage. 

It defines a child as a person under the age of 18 and prohibits child 

According to the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, a person under the age of 18 is considered a child and cannot legally marry or be given off in marriage.

Also, two main sections, 14 and 15, deal with the issue of children entering marital relations. They are produced below in full.-

Section 14: Right to refuse betrothal and marriage.

(1) No person shall force a child:

(a) to be betrothed;

(b) to be the subject of a dowry transaction; or

(c) to be married.

(2) The minimum age of marriage of whatever kind shall be eighteen years.

Any person who contravenes a provision of this Sub-Part commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 5 million cedis (500 Ghana Cedis) or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year or to both.

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

This statement contradicts the age of 13 given by the Mankralo of the Nungua traditional area in earlier reports.

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