Henceforth anyone who forces an under aged girl into marriage or forcibly throw a spouse out of matrimony is liable to two years in jail.
A magistrate, Barrister Amina Garuba, disclosed that the newly enacted Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law in Bauchi state has forbidden the practice of forcing girls and women into marriages.
Amina, the chairperson VAPP law working group in the state, made the disclosure Friday while delivering a lecture on the new law at a one-day training organised by the Bauchi state Ministry of Women Affairs for civil society organisations, women groups and traditional leaders in Bauchi.
According to her, the law provides two years imprisonment for the offender or a fine of N500, 000 or both.
Apart from that, she said, “it is an offence for a partner to evict his spouse forcefully from their matrimonial home and the punishment for that is also two years jail terms or a fine of N300, 000.”
She said the VAPP law which was passed to address violence against persons especially women “penalises rapists by life imprisonment or death by hanging in the case of rape of a minor on conviction.”
Other proscribed acts provided by the VAPP law, according to her, include; prohibition of female circumcision, forced financial dependence, economic abuse, forced isolation from family as well as abandonment of spouse and children.
“An attempt to commit emotional, verbal and psychological abuse is an offence. Whoever is convicted of this offence of emotional, verbal and psychological abuse will be sentenced to not less than one year imprisonment or a fine of not less than N200, 000 or both,” she said.
In her address, the Commissioner for Women affairs, Hajara Gidado, represented by the permanent secretary of the ministry, Ahmed Shehu Lame, said the law was enacted by the state government to protect the human rights of all citizens.
While assuring that government was committed to the full implementation and enforcement of the law, the commissioner said the workshop was meant to educate the participants on the law so that they could pass the message to others.