Thursday, April 9, 2020

Ese,14, ‘released’ from forced marriage after 6 months

March 01
08:37 2016

After six months in captivity, Ese Oruru, the 14-year-old girl kidnapped in Bayelsa state, has been released, the Punch newspaper is reporting.

Ese was reported to have been kidnapped from her mother’s shop in Bayelsa and taken to Kano, thousand of miles away from home, in August 2015, but calls for her release began to mount over the weekend, as prominent Nigerians campaigned under the hash tag #FreeEse.

Her alleged kidnapper, Yunusa, a long-standing customer of her mother, converted to her Islam and refused to release her on the grounds that she is now married to him under the Sharia law and no longer a child.

Solomon Arase, the inspector-general of police, and the Kano state police command had said they would wait for Sanusi to mediate before a crime as kidnap is prosecuted. This caused an uproar on social media, especially Twitter, with several Nigerians and political figures vowing not to relent on the campaign to #FreeEse.

On Monday, Ben Murray-Bruce, a senator representing the Bayelsa East constituency, promised to keep up the campaign for Ese’s release.

“I just got off the phone with the Emir of Kano. He has exonerated himself and has provided documental evidence to this effect on Ese’s case,” he wrote on Twitter.

“However, I will not relent until Ese is freed and released back to her parents.”

Also, Oby Ezekwesili, former minister of education, who said she spoke with  Sanusi, said the emir did not know about the continued detention of the young girl.

“Found that Emir over ruled the Sharia Comm & asked that Esse be returned,” she quoted Sanusi as saying.

“If anyone had contacted me to say the girl had not been returned instead of just fabricating malicious lies we wouldn’t be here now.”

But Ese’s mother said a chief of a village in Tufa, Kura local government area of Kano state, said the 14-year-old was in the custody of the emir of Kano who is not easily accessible and went to Saudi Arabia for Hajj.

“He (the chief of the village) also informed us that Ese was in the custody of the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, at the palace,” she told Punch in an interview

Solomon Arase, the inspector-general of police, had said the emir’s Hajj trip was responsible for the delay in the release of Ese.

“The Emir decided that he was going to mediate. But because of his trip to Mecca with the President; that was what caused the delay. But now that he is back, we are going to sort it out as quickly as possible,” he told Punch.


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