Nigerian Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima, under fire over marrying a 13-year-old Egyptian girl has remained unrepentant as he has , justified his actions by claiming that he was following in the footsteps of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed.
The former Governor of Zamfara state in Northern Nigeria claimed he has done nothing wrong.
“I am only following Prophet Mohammed’s footsteps who married a nine-year-old girl, Aishatu,” Yerima told journalists shortly after his opposition ANPP party paid a visit to President Goodluck Jonathan.
Yerima, 49, who was governor of Nigeria’s north-western state of Zamfara when it became the first of 12 Muslim-dominated northern states to introduce Sharia law in 2000, spurned Nigeria’s Child Rights Act of 2003 which forbids marriage with anyone under 18.
“I do not work with such law that runs counter to my religion,” he said.
The Nigerian Senate has ordered a probe after the national rights watchdog and 10 other groups accused him of shaming the country.
Media reports have alleged Yerima paid a 100,000-dollar dowry and married the girl at the National Mosque in the capital Abuja.
IN BRIEF: Illegal wealth accumulation case starts against Abacha’s son
An appeal by the son of Nigeria’s ex-ruler Sani Abacha against a court order to return $350m (£236m) in illegally gained assets has begun in Switzerland.
Abba Abacha was also convicted of being a member of a criminal organisation and given a suspended custodial sentence.
Switzerland began investigating the Abacha family in 1999 and has so far handed back about $700m to Nigeria.
Nigerian state lawyers believe Sani Abacha, who ruled from 1993 until his death in 1998, may have stolen $2.2bn.
The appeal started on Monday at a court in Geneva, officials say.
However, Swiss newspaper LeTemps reports that Mr Abacha, who is currently in Nigeria, would not be attending the hearing.
He was refused a visa to come to Switzerland because he did not apply for it in time, the newspaper says.
The Swiss authorities pursued Abba Abacha for six years before extraditing him from Germany in 2005.
He was finally convicted by a court in Geneva in November 2009.