Six persons, including an Imam, who forced a 12-year-old girl into marriage at Abeka Zongo, Accra have been put before court.
The victim’s parents, together with the supposed husband’ and his parents as well as an Abeka Imam, who witnessed the marriage ceremony, have been arraigned on forced marriage charges.
The 12-year-old victim was married to a 26-year-old man known as Prince Hakeem Sharif Dekeeney.
The accused persons are Mohammed Kamal Yusif, a 53-year-old driver and Rufkatu Abdallah, a 49-year old trader, Sherif Idris, Adizatu Alhassan, Prince Hakeem Sharif Dekeeney, and Sheikh Hidir Idris Adams, the Imam.
Three other accomplices namely Sheikh Hidir Adams, Sheikh Amin Osuman and Sheikh Dr. Bashir Adams, are said to be at large.
They pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit crime, abetment of crime and forced marriage.
The Circuit Court presided over by Mrs Abena Oppong Adjin-Doku has admitted them to bail in the sum of GH¢10,000 with one surety each to appear again on October 8.
The victim, who was kept at a shelter in Osu, Accra, has now been released to the Assemblyman of Abeka, Umar Abdul Muma Yaro.
This is to enable the victim, who is a Junior High School form three Student to continue with her education.
The court ordered the assemblyman to inform the court, if he at any point is unable to take care of the victim.
Lawyer for the accused persons prayed the court for bail since they would not abscond from the jurisdiction.
Prosecuting Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Agnes Boafo said Mohammed Kamal and Rufkatu Abdallah are the biological parents of the victim and they reside at Abeka Zongo.
Sherif Idris and Adizatu Alhassan are the parents of Prince Hakeem Sharif Dekeeney aged 26 years.
ASP Boafo said on July 26, this year, at about 1000 hours, the Tesano Domestic Violence and Victim’s Support Unit had information that the victim had been married to Prince Sharif Dekeeney.
Prosecution said the Tesano Unit Commander assigned Detective Sergeant Francis Sevor to follow up on the matter.
On August 16, this year, the accused persons were arrested and the victim was rescued from her parents and taken to a Shelter at Osu.
Prosecution said the victim was taken to the hospital for medical examination where it was established that the victim had had sexual intercourse.
When the victim was asked who defiled her, she mentioned one Kwame and not Prince.
Prosecution said the Police has not been able to arrest the said Kwame to assist in investigations.
Meanwhile, the six accused persons have admitted the offence, but Prince Sharif Dekeeney told the Police that he had paid bride price to Mohammed Kamal Yusif and Rufkatu Abdallah.
Investigations revealed that the marriage ceremony was graced by Sheikh Abass Saleh, the Abeka Imam.