Popular kidnap and forced marriage case of minor Ese Oruru has finally come to a head on Thursday, as her kidnapper, Yinusa Dahiru was sentenced to 26 years in prison, 5 years after the kidnap.
Oruru was reportedly abducted, taken to Kano State and forced into marriage, a union that later produced a baby girl. It is reported that Ese and Dahiru were joined at the palace of the former Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi. Ese is said to have been forcibly converted to Islam.
The Kano State government, through its Information, Youths and Sports Commissioner, Malam Garba, denied any involvement and demanded that Dahiru be prosecuted since the Constitution and Islamic teaching abhor abduction and forced marriage.
Yinusa, popularly known as Yellow, was subsequently arrested and arraigned in court on a five-count charge of criminal abduction, illicit sex, sexual exploitation and unlawful carnal knowledge of a minor.
The charges against him read: “That you, Yunusa Dahiru, a male, resident in Opolo-Epie area of Yenagoa in Bayelsa State, conspired with the duo of Dankano Mohammed and Mallam Alhassan, between August 2015 and February 2016, to commit an offense of abduction and thereby committed an offense punishable under section 27(a) of the Trafficking in Persons (prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.”
Count two: “That you, Yunusa Dahiru, abducted Ese Oruru by means of coercion, transported and harbored her in Kano State and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 13(2)(b) of the Trafficking in Persons (prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.”
Count three: “That you, Yunusa Dahiru induced Ese Oruru by the use of deception and coercion to go with you from Yenagoa to Kano State with the intent that she be forced or seduced into illicit intercourse and thereby committed an offense punishable under section 15(a) of the Trafficking in Persons (prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.”
Count four: “That you, Yunusa Dahiru, procured Ese Oruru and subjected her to sexual exploitation in Kano State and thereby committed an offense punishable under section 16(1) of the Trafficking in Persons (prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.”
Count five: “That you, Yinusa Dahiru, had unlawful carnal knowledge of Ese Oruru without her consent and thereby committed an offense contrary to section 357 of the criminal code Act and punishable under section 358 of the Criminal code ACT, Cap. C.38 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”
Human rights lawyer, Ebun Adegboruwa, called the incident a “clear case of child trafficking” and “a worse form of corruption.”
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