Nigerian Senator 'married 13-year-old girl'

Members of the Nigerian Parliament began an investigation yesterday into whether a 49-year-old senator illegally married an underage girl – a crime punishable by up to five years in jail.

Women's rights groups have demanded the resignation of Senator Ahmed Yerima, accusing him of marrying a girl of 13 in violation of Nigeria's child rights law. Ethics committees from both chambers of parliament have begun investigations.

In an interview with the Daily Trust newspaper, the senator said his wife was not as young as 13 but refused to give her age, saying it was an invasion of her privacy. The National Human Rights Commission claimed he paid $100,000 (£66,000) as dowry and married the unnamed girl at the National Mosque in the capital, Abuja, several weeks ago.