Police rescue girl forced into marriage

From Desmond Mgboh, Kano

The fourteen-year-old girl, Ese Oruru, forced into marriage in Kano has been rescued by the police.

Daily Sun gathered that the young Ese, was picked up yesterday by the operatives of Zone ‘I’ Police Command in Kano State and put in protective custody.

The Force Headquarters confirmed the story to Daily Sun in a telephone chat.

According to the force spokeperson, ACP Bisi Kolawole, the girl declared missing by her parents in Bayelsa State has been rescued in Kano following the Inspector General of Police order of investigation into the matter.

According to the Force spokeperson, Ese would be transferred to Abuja today.

The Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, had ordered an immediate investigation into the case of the 14-year-old girl, Miss Ese Oruru, who was allegedly abducted from her home state, Bayelsa and taken to Kano State on the grounds that she had converted to Islam.

This is coming as the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, has denied keeping custody of the  girl in his palace. The royal father said the report linking the Kano Emirate to the custody of the girl was a well crafted attempt to tarnish the good image of Emirate Kano Council.

The monarch spoke on Monday, after his regular council meeting, saying that, he had ordered for the immediate repatriation of the girl to her parents in Bayelsa state, since August last year, when the District Head of Kura came to his palace with a young girl of about 15 years and her purported husband.

“ I ordered the Kano State Shariah Commission to liaise with the Assistant Inspector General ( AIG) , Zone 1, to assist in taking her back to her parents in Bayelsa, through the AIG who oversees Bayelsa axis, for her safety,”  he said.

Sanusi said he invited the police into the matter largely because the girl was said to have made a statement that she was afraid her parents could harm her.

The Emir explained: “In Islam, the girl has no right to just go ahead and decide things for herself. She is still young.  She is not matured enough. And nowhere in Islam where such a young girl can just make up her mind and give her hands in marriage just like that. It is not permitted in Islam. That is why we said she must be taken back to her parents “.

“To my utter surprise, since the time we asked that the girl be taken to her parents in Bayelsa, through AIG Zone 1 office, we didn’t hear anything about her; Just now we started hearing all kinds of stories that we were keeping her in our custody “.

The monarch, who was unhappy with the allegation against the Emirate council, insisted that, “We must therefore do things according to the set rules and regulations governing our religion”

The Emir called on the purported husband of the young girl to exercise patience and wait till when she reached the maturity age of 18 years before he could  ask for her hand in marriage.

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