Islamic and secular laws clash in Nigeria's senate

Posted: 07/22/13 at 2:25 pm EDT

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) -- Enraged Nigerians are using petitions, protests and social networks to demand the Senate revisit a constitutional amendment on the age of consent.

The country's secular and Islamic laws clashed last week when a senator notorious for marrying a 14-year-old girl forced a re-vote on a bill about the age at which a person can renounce citizenship. Currently the constitution only says a person must be of "full age" to renounce citizenship. A proposed amendment was to set the age at 18, to bring the clause in line with other laws setting the age of consent for marriage and voting.

But Sen. Sani Ahmed Yerima opposed the age limit, saying that it goes against Islamic law. He said that a female can marry at any age.

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