An Osun-based Islamic cleric, Habeebulah Abdulrahman, who raped a 16-year-old girl, has been arrested.
Mr Abdulrahman was arrested on Monday and detained by the Osun State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Nigerian police.P
Although the cleric did not deny having sex with the girl, he claimed that he got married to her a day before the first rape incident.
However, Mr Abdulrahman could not provide any evidence of marriage as the girl and her family debunked the marriage claims of the cleric.
“Barely four days after I joined the Islamic school, he asked me to marry him but I said my studies will be affected and that he is too old for me even if I want to marry anyone at all,” the victim told this medium.
Also, Nigerian law outlaws marriage to a person below 18 years.
Section 21 of the Child Rights Act states that “No person under the age of 18 is capable of contracting a valid marriage, and accordingly a marriage so contracted is null and void.”
Section 31 of the same law stipulates that a person who commits an offence of defilement is liable on conviction to life imprisonment.
Osun is one of the 25 Nigerian states that have adopted the Child Rights Act.