Senator weeps, claims voting in error

Child marriage: Senator weeps, claims voting in error

Senator Ayo Akinyelure polpularly called ‘AllOver” by his admirers, representing Ondo Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly, weeks ago wept before members of his constituency in Akure apologising to them that he voted in error to support the senate resolution backing marriage of underage girls.

AlloverAkinyelure was summoned by his constituents to explain his role in the controversial passage of a resolution to retain the provision of Section 29 (4) (b) of the 1999 Constitution, which states that a married underage girl is deemed to be an adult.

Politicians, women groups and students besieged the Adegbemile Hall, venue of the meeting, with placards to protest against what they described as the legalisation of sexual abuse of young girls, which their representative had supported.

in an emotional laden tone, Allover bursted into tears as he laboured to convince the obviously enraged crowd at the tension-soaked session that he mistakenly pressed the wrong button during the electronic voting exercise thinking that he was voting against child marriage.

The Senator said he had aligned his thought with that of other senators, who supported the resolution that the provision should be expunged from the constitution.

He added that the resolution was paraphrased again in a way that confused him to mean that pressing the ‘No’ button would mean voting against the resolution that the resolution should be retained in the constitution.

He said, “I am very sorry for this costly mistake. I actually voted in error. I pressed the ‘No’ button during the electronic voting session, thinking that I was kicking against the early marriage. I can never support such barbaric and wicked bill.”

As a fallout of the tension, supporters of the embattled senator and the protesters clashed at the premises of the meeting, while a photojournalist with the Hope newspapers, Mr. Abayomi Adefolalu, who tried to take their shot was beaten while his camera was damaged.

The International Federation of Women Lawyers, Edo State Branch, joined several others to criticise Senate resolution on child marriage describing the decision of Nigeria’s upper legislative chambers on the contentious issue as disturbing and called for the removal of Section 29, sub-section 4(b) from the (1999) Constitution.

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