A nine-year-old primary four pupil (name withheld) from Domiento, a farming community in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District of the Northern Region, has been rescued from a forced marriage.
Three persons have since been arrested in connection with the crime, which resulted in a bizarre case of murder in the family.
The terrified young girl is currently in the custody of her biological mother under the supervision of leaders of the community, who have promised to ensure her safety henceforth.
The stepfather of the victim reportedly married her off to his 56-year-old farmer friend in a different community despite fierce resistance from some family members who complained about the 47-year age gap between the ‘husband and wife’.
According to police investigators, the girl, under the arrangement, was made to stop school and move into the home of her husband to begin married life against her wish.
Her stepfather insisted it was in line with the customs and traditions of the area, and that if they were prevented from going ahead with the arrangement, there would be dire consequences.
Customary rites were subsequently performed by the stepfather and the nine-year-old was taken away by kinsmen of her would-be husband to be handed over to him.
She was compelled despite her age to begin performing her conjugal duties as a wife to her husband who, it is gathered, is already married to about four wives.
Pregnant Sister Killed
In another development, an elder sister of the youngster, Serwah Biladel, 25, said to be pregnant, was allegedly clubbed to death by her brother when she fiercely resisted the marriage arrangement of her younger sister and the older man.
The brother, who was identified as Wunang Jijri, 27, was reportedly a direct beneficiary of the forced marriage and allegedly received free drinks and guinea fowls.
He allegedly accused his sister of showing gross disrespect to their father and subsequently killed her.
Police at Bunkpurugu, who earlier arrested Wunang Jijri, have equally gone ahead to arrest the stepfather and husband of the youngster and are pressing criminal charges against all three.
The little girl has since been rescued from the forced marriage to enable her continue schooling while elders in the area have been tasked to keep watch over her.
Daily Guide gathered that kinsmen who contracted the marriage would also be arrested for conspiring to commit a crime.
Source: Stephen Zoure, Tamale
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