New Telegraph

‘Enforcing Child Rights Act’ ll end Child Marriage’

 

 

Stephanie Dolapo Ewubajo is an indigene of Ijebu Itele, Odomore, in Ijebu East Local Government Area of Ogun State. Ewubajo who obtained her LL.B from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, was called to Bar in 2018. She shares her experience in the legal profession with JOHN CHIKEZIE

 

Background

 

I am Stephanie Dolapo Ewubajo. I am from Ogun State, Ijebu East Local Government Area, Ijebu Itele, Odomore. I am a graduate of law from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State. I attended the Nigeria Law School, Abuja Campus and was called to Bar in 2018.

 

Why law?

 

I love law and am glad I studied it. interestingly, my childhood passion was to become a lawyer. I perceived lawyers as noble and great people in the society and I do not regret choosing this path. Law, as a field, has helped sharpen my reasoning level and my ability to analyze issues and conclude well.

 

Specialization

 

The area of law I specialize include, but not limited to, Family and Matrimonial matters, Land Transactions in Nigeria, Civil Law practice, Corporate Law Practice and General Law Practice. I interned at the law firm of Olayinka Bolanle & Co., Ibadan, Oyo State (2013-2019).

 

At the firm I was exposed to thorough court room practice, trial preparations, client counselling, and this built my interest and passion in litigation. I was employed as an Associate Counsel at the law firm of Kunle Ishola & Co., Ibadan, Oyo State (January 2020- July 2021).

 

At the firm, I was exposed to brief drafting, trial preparations, perfection of title to land, thorough litigation, client counselling, family and matrimonial matter and General law practice.

Child Marriage

 

Firstly, we must identify who is categorized as a child. A child is someone below the age of legal majority.

 

The Nigeria law prescribed the age of an adult as 18 years. However, a few principles states 21 years i.e contract. This implies that anyone below the age of 18 years is a child.

 

The Child Right Act 2003 stipulates the minimum age of marriage to be 18 years; it is a general rule that a child below 18 years of age cannot give marital consent. Child marriage is a contract (marriage) where a party or both are below the age of 18years.

 

The age range of 1 year to 17 years depicts more of a person still trying to adapt to life experience and struggles, an individual attempting to find out their aspirations in life.

 

At this stage too, most of them are still naive and immature about some basic aspects of life such as social interactions, mental and emotional capacity, finance, etc. I do not, in any way, support child marriage.

 

Marriage is indeed a long term contract and parties going into it should be fully prepared for whatever comes out of it. Child Marriage should be abolished and not encouraged. Child Marriage affects victim’s right to dignity of person as enshrined in Section 34(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic (as amended).

 

It stipulate that every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person.

 

A part of the Nigerian law states that an assault by a man or woman if they are married is not an offence, see Section 55(1) of the Penal Code; this in itself is domestic violence which the constitution frowns at and should not be encouraged at the home level. Nigeria’s justice system

The justice system can be seen as a service (justice) delivery system.

The judiciary runs the justice system and for the effective running of the system, it lies in our collective efforts, alongside notable stakeholders.

To grow and create a more sustainable justice system lies in the hands of judges, court officials, lawyers, litigants and even the society at large.

 

The judicial system is organized in a way to provide easy access to justice, however, more mechanisms need to be put in place, such as the building of more and enough courts as well as the appointment of more judges and employment of judicial staff.

 

There is a need for more special courts that would attend to specific kind of matters; this would ensure speedy dispensation of related matters. More mechanisms needs to be put in place as it regards enforcement of judgements of court and court orders. I wish there will also be welfare committee that will serve as support provided by the government attending to victims of families and matrimonial matters and so on.

Domestic violence in Nigeria Interestingly, I had a recent talk about

this issue on my YouTube channel (Legal Clinic with Stephanie Ewubajo), where I shared top questions on domestic violence and possible ways to tackle it. Domestic violence is an act meant to cause harm, death or damage to victims by a person in the victim’s domestic circle.

There are different types of domestic violence ranging from neglect, spiritual abuse, psychological abuse, sexual, physical, financial abuse and so on.

One of the ways out of domestic violence is to seek legal assistance, medical care and emotional support, detect the abuse and the abuser, economic empowerment and much more. But, particularly, I’ve handled lots of domestic violence case and I will share a recent experience.

My principal handed over the matter for me to handle involving physical assault, financial abuse and neglect from her lawful husband and threat to her life.

 

Our client, at the time the complaint was made to the Gender-based violence team, Ministry of Justice, Ibadan, Oyo State, was heavily pregnant and her husband robbed her of all the money she made on her wedding day, maltreated, and assaulted her. This caused her to treat herself all through the pregnancy, while her husband refused to cater for her needs or that of the baby.

 

She wanted him to be financially responsible as she had made up her mind to divorce him, but she does not want the load of the financial responsibility of taking care of the child to be borne by her family alone.

So, he was invited by the panel and was made to deposit a minimal sum of money for the child’s delivery, but he became adamant along the line.

 

This made our client to resolve to taking up a case against him both as criminal and civil suit, whenever she delivers the child and emotionally stable to pursue the case.

 

Future ambition

My dream and aspiration is to become a Judge someday. I yearn to view things from two angles and then decide based on legal principles that which is fair and just in every circumstance and I trust the Lord to grant my heart desires

Read Previous

The October Presidential broadcast: Matters arising

Read Next

Open grazing ban: Dust over FG’s backing of herders’ suit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *