Father, husband of Anambra teenage mother arrested


Anambra Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo

By Lucy Osuizigbo-Okechukwu

One Uzochukwu Okoli has been arrested in Anambra State for marrying off his 16-year-old daughter. Also arrested was the 34-year-old husband of the teenage girl identified as Chinedu Nweke by Mrs Ify Obinabo, Anambra state’s Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare.

Obinabo told journalists on Thursday in Awka, that Okoli was arrested after his daughter who is nursing a baby reported to the ministry.

According to her, the 16-year-old who came with her sister to report to the ministry alleged that her father and the man she was forced to marry maltreated her.

“Following receipt of the allegation, the ministry immediately took action to identify and apprehend the father and the 34-year-old husband known as Chinedu Nweke.

“The suspects would be handed over to the police for further investigations and charged to court so that the children can get justice,” she said.
The commissioner urge parents to prioritise the upbringing of their children, especially the girl-child rather than pushing them to early marriage.

The 16-year-old girl told journalists that after the death of their mother, their father brought them back from Edo state, where they were residing to take a husband.

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She alleged that she was earlier forced to live with a 70-year-old man when she was 14 years.

“After living with the 70-year-old man for sometime, I ran back to my father’s house before he finally gave her out to Chinedu Nweke as my husband.

“Life with Chinedu has been a living hell because he beats me and sometimes after beating me he will pee in my mouth.

“That was why I ran away with my nine-months-old baby to report,” she said.

During questioning, the suspect, Okoli, initially claimed his daughter was 18-year-old and at another time he said she was 20.

He threatened to deal with the daughters if he made it out of prison.

“Just pray I do not die in prison because when I come out, I will make life miserable for you people for reporting me,” he said.

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