Probe ‘Marriage’ Of Girl, 12 – AG To IGP

Godfred Yeboah Dame


The Office of the Attorney General has tasked the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, to investigate the ‘marriage’ between 63-year-old Gborbu Wulomo Nuumo Borketey Laweh XXXIII and a 12-year-old girl (name withheld).

The investigation per a letter signed by Diana Asonaba Dapaah, a Deputy Attorney General, is premised on sections 14 and 15 of the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560) which  touches on a child’s right to refuse betrothal and marriage.

The ‘marriage’ between the two, which took place on March 30, 2024, has drawn both local and international outrage, with many highlighting the potential dangers it poses to the minor, notwithstanding the age difference between the two.

Various right groups have called for a cancellation of the ‘marriage’ and a possible prosecution of all involved in the ceremony.

The Mankralo of the Nungua Traditional Area, in his justification of the ‘marriage’, has indicated that the union between 63-year-old Gborbu Wulomo and the 12-year-old is purely customary and does not come with conjugal duties.

That explanation has not gone down well with many who feel that the marriage should not have taken place at all, no matter the conditions attached to it.

AG’s Task

The Office of the Attorney General has written to the Ghana Police Service asking for a full scale investigation into the ‘marriage’.

It drew the attention of the Police to the Children’s Act which states that “a person shall not force a child to (a) to be betrothed, (b) to be the subject of a dowry transaction, or (c) to be married.”

It further points out that “The minimum age of marriage of whatever kind is eighteen years.”

The letter also states that the penalty for a person who contravenes a provision of the sections of the Act “commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty penalty units [GH¢3,000] or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year or to both the fine and the imprisonment.”

“The allegations, if proven, constitute a criminal offence for which all persons involved must face prosecution. We would appreciate it if you could cause your outfit to conduct the necessary investigation of the alleged child marriage to enable our Office to do the needful,” the letter requested.

“Please do not hesitate to contact our Office should you require further information,” it added.

Police Action

The Ghana Police Service, in the wake of the questionable marriage, issued a statement indicating it has identified and located the 12-year-old girl who is alleged to have been married to the 63-year-old Gborbu Wulomo in Nungua, Accra.

It said the girl and her mother are currently under police protection, adding that the Police Service is working with the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection and the Department of Social Welfare to provide her with the necessary support while the matter is being investigated.

Sosu’s Petition

The Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis-Xavier Sosu has sent a similar petition to the Inspector General calling for the arrest and prosecution of Gborbu Wulomo Nuumo Borketey Laweh XXXIII.

He indicated in the petition that the conduct of the Wulomo constitutes a breach of both local and international laws on child care and protection, and the said conduct is criminal.

He states that “the said marriage is illegal, null and void because by law a child under 18 does not have capacity to enter marriage.”

He added that, “I respectfully crave your indulgence and pray that you exercise your powers of arrest, investigations, including potential defilement and prosecution in the defence and protection of this innocent child.”

BY Gibril Abdul Razak