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Eight charged for procuring defilement in Amuru

Suspects are locked up at Otwee police station for marrying off a fifteen-year-old girl

Amuru, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Eight people in Amuru district are in trouble for procuring defilement.

They are thirty-year-old Charles Ojok, who is accused of severally defiling a fifteen-year-old girl and primary six pupil at Oloyotong primary school in Amuru district. The others include Eveline Aciro, the mother of the teenage girl and her uncle Nyeko Abuja, John Okwir, Elnato Kibwota, Joseph Komakech and Wilberforce Okwonga. The suspects who are now locked up at Otwee police station were arrested on Saturday for marrying off the fifteen-year-old girl to Ojok.

They were picked up from Oloyotong village in Ogungedi parish, Amuru sub county while holding a party to celebrate the traditional marriage that took place on Friday evening. Emmanuel Bwambale, the Amuru District Police Commander told URN this morning that they have preferred charges of procuring defilement against the suspects.

He disclosed that the teenager has undergone medical examination, adding that the suspect’s files have already been sanctioned by the Resident State Attorney. The suspects are expected to appear before the magistrate’s court in Amuru on Tuesday. Procuring defilement contravenes section 127 of the Penal Code Act, which leads to imprisonment for five years.

According to information obtained by URN, Ojok and his relatives paid dowry and an unspecified amount of money to the teenager’s family in exchange for her hand in marriage. The family of the girl reportedly accepted the request on Friday evening and handed over the girl to Ojok for marriage in accordance with the Acholi culture. A close source in the family who asked for anonymity said that on Saturday afternoon, the two families organised celebrations in Oloyotong village, Ogungedi Parish to celebrate the successful traditional marriage before the girl could go to her new home.

Michael Lakony, the Amuru District LC V chairperson says police and district authorities were notified of the illegal marriage prompting them to storm the scene on Saturday. Apollo Okello, the Amuru District Education Secretary decried the rising cases of teenage pregnancies and early marriages in the district, something he attributes to poor parenting, love for money and domestic disputes.

During her visit to Northern Uganda last week, Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, the State Minister for Youth and Children’s Affair called on everyone to take part in protecting children against violence.

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