Niger Assembly Passes Law Prohibiting Professed Muslims From ‘Marrying More Than 4 Wives’

ADAMU USMAN, SPEAKER NIGER STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
ADAMU USMAN, SPEAKER NIGER STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

The Niger State House of Assembly in an unprecedented move finally passed into law a bill that makes marrying more than four wives illegal in the state.

However, observers believe the move may not be unconnected with the government’s desire to prosecute the popular octogenarian and Islamic cleric, Mohammed Saba, who has 86 wives.

The state Assembly on Friday codified the law through passage of the bill seeking the establishment of the Shari’a Penal Code for existing laws against rape and marrying more than four wives.

By the new law, anyone proven to have raped a woman in the state will bag a 21-year-jail-term, while any professed Muslim, who marries more than four wives, will be made to face the law.

The bill was passed following the adoption of the report of the House Committee on Judicial Matters presented by its chairman, Hon Isah Kawu (Bida 1 constituency).

While presenting the report, Isah noted that all major stakeholders took advantage of the public hearing to make inputs into the new law.

Speaking after the passage of the bill, the Speaker, Barrister Adamu Usman, hailed the committee members for their commitment and dedication to ensuring that inputs were made by all stakeholders.

According to Usman, the bill is in line with Section 36 of the amended Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, though tailored in accordance with Islamic injunctions.

The Speaker also advised parents to always monitor the movement of their children, stressing that people should strive to report cases of rape to law enforcement agents in their localities for prompt action.