Lagos – A human rights group, the Citizens
Rights and Empowerment Advocacy Initiative (CREMA Initiative), has pledged free
legal assistance to victims of abduction for marriage in the country.
The group’s President/Executive Director, Rexkennedy
Saltlove, and the Director of Information, James Ezema, jointly condemned the
growing cases of marriage by capture in Nigeria.
The decision of the body followed its findings, which
revealed that cases of marriage by kidnapping, a practice in which a man
abducts the woman he wishes to marry, were on the rise in some parts of the
“Our findings also revealed that about 75 percent of
bride abduction cases were never reported to the authorities for fear of
intimidation and harassment by the abductors and their collaborators, while no
proactive steps have been taken by the government to free victims, who are
mainly young schoolgirls between the ages of 11 and 16,” the officials said.
CREMA Initiative further discovered that victims of
forced marriage or brides by abduction were children of the less privileged
members of the society who cannot afford legal fees, hence to decision to
assist the victims.
Also read: Jury convicts man of lewd acts on child he later married
“We are very worried that bride kidnappers are not
punished but protected by some elites who should have condemned it as a sex
crime rather than celebrate the vice as a valid form of marriage. More so, when
under aged schoolgirls are the victims as recently brought to light by the case
of the Bayelsan victim, Ese Oruru.”
More worrisome, according to the group, as that “most
parents of the victims had been forced to nurse their pains in their
bedchambers, while the authorities ignored the trend.
The organisations said they were ready to assist such
traumatised families by all legal means to secure the freedom of their wards in
line with our tradition of standing with the vulnerable and less privileged
members of the society.
“We, therefore, urge the victims or their families to
contact via email: email@example.com
or call 08175047979 or 08121649663 for necessary assistance,” the group said.
The offer comes after Nigerians expressed
outrage over the alleged abduction of 14-year-old Oruru by one Yinusa, who also
forced her into marriage and got her pregnant.
- CAJ News