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13-year-old held captive over father’s failure to pay bride price

A 13-year-old girl at a village in Chereponi in the North East Region has been detained and allegedly turned into a sex slave because her father reportedly failed to complete the payment of the bride price of a woman he married over 30 years ago.

The father of the girl, 70-year-old Nayab Jaatoh, was supposed to present one cow as part of the bride price demanded by his wife’s family – the wife is now in her 50s.

It is not clear which other items were demanded as bride price aside from the cow but Joy News has gathered that the man has been under intense pressure from the woman’s family, who insisted the man must present the animal to fully formalise the marriage.

But following his failure to present the cow, a brother of the woman stormed the village and forcefully took away the young daughter of the man’s second wife.

The incident occurred at Juopaa in Chereponi and the girl is being held captive at Kananmong near Yendi.

The girl has now been confined in a room belonging to the 40-year-old captor who has allegedly turned her into a sex object.

The girl has only managed to contact her family through a mobile phone she begged for after she struggled and fled from the village to Yendi.

She has spoken about her ordeal to her elder sister in Accra and was scheduled to join a vehicle to continue her escape to the capital, when, unfortunately, she was arrested by friends of her captor and sent back to Kananmong.

Frightened by the development, the elder sister of the girl, Sarah Nimong, travelled to Tamale to report the incident to the police.

Sarah told Joy News that her sister’s captor has vowed to impregnate and marry the little girl unless their father completes payment of his sister’s bride price.

The police have said detention of the girl and the alleged sexual abuse breaks many laws and have launched a manhunt for the captor and others who may be involved.

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service has, however, declined to speak on record until the culprits are arrested.

Bride price has been linked to the increasing incidents of violence and other acts of aggression against women, especially in communities in the five regions in the north of Ghana.

Source: Ghana | Joy News | Eliasu Tanko

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