Child Bride Accused of Killing Husband With Rat Poison

Nigerian 14-year-old could face death penalty
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2014 3:04 AM CST
Child Bride Accused of Killing Husband With Rat Poison
A man walks past the federal high court in Abuja, Nigeria.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

A 14-year-old child bride who apparently saw murder as the only way out of her marriage could get the death penalty in Nigeria. Prosecutors say that Wasila Tasi'u, who came from a poor, rural family in the north of the country, killed her 35-year-old husband and three other people by lacing a celebratory meal a couple of weeks after the wedding with rat poison, reports the Daily Mail. Polygamy is common in the region and as the trial opened this week, a 7-year-old girl identified as a sister of the man's other wife testified that the teenager had given her money to buy rat poison.

Others testified that they saw the girl's husband look "visibly ill" after eating balls of bean paste she had allegedly prepared. The girl's father has urged the court to spare his daughter the death sentence, and activists say the girl was a victim of the abuse suffered by millions of people in the region. "She was married to a man that she didn't love," a Nigerian women's rights activist in tells the AP. "She protested but her parents forced her to marry him." If Tasi'u does get the death penalty, she will be the first juvenile executed in Nigeria since 1997. (A few years ago, human rights groups slammed a Nigerian senator for bringing a 13-year-old girl to the country as his fourth wife.)

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