A 14-year-old girl accused of killing her husband is to go on trial in Nigeria.
Wasila Tasi’u is accused of lacing her 35-year-old husband’s food with rat poisoning shortly after being forced into marriage with him. She is also expected to stand trial for the death of three other people who allegedly ate out of the poisoned food.
Police say Tasi’u has already confessed to the murders which took place in April but her lawyer disputes this claim.
According to a spokesperson for Kano Police, Musa Magaji Majia who spoke to the AFP, Wasila “did it because she was forced by her parents to marry a man she did not love.”
Her lawyer Hussaina Aliyu is calling for the teenager to be tried as a child rather than the current system where she is to be tried as an adult, although, this plea has been thrown out by the courts.
Nigeria’s mainly Muslim northern region adhere to Sharia law although, the country has a more liberal secular law at a federal level.
Aliyu argues that Wasila should be tried in a juvenile court and urged the judiciary to “do justice to her. Treat the case as it is. Treat her as a child.”
Nigeria has one of the highest prevalence of child marriages in the world with 38% of girls particularly in the northern region married off before they are 18.