General News of Wednesday, 24 September 2003

Source: GNA

Woman gets five-year jail term for performing FGM

Wa, Sept 24, GNA - A Circuit Court at Wa on Monday sentenced a 50-year woman to five years' imprisonment for cutting the genital organs of three girls.

Fefe Dari, a farmer, pleaded guilty to a charge of female circumcision.

Alhaji Mohammed Mustapha, the presiding judge, expressed concern about the continued practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) despite intense education campaigns to stop the practice.

Fefe is the first person to be convicted of the offence in the Upper West Region since the Criminal Code Amendment Act, 1994 Act (484) made the practice of FGM a second-degree felony.

Police Inspector Stephen Dobara told the court that personnel of the Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) of Regional Police Command had a tip-off that the convict had mutilated the "labia minora" and clitoris of three little girls.

A team of policemen went to the village where the convict and the three girls aged five, one-and-half and three weeks were identified. Inspector Dobara said the woman was arrested and brought to the Wa Police Station together with the victims who were later sent to the Wa Regional Hospital for medical examination.

The judge said the harsh sentence was to serve as a deterrent to others.