Abducted 14-year-old Christian girl ‘forced’ to marry Emir of Katsina

In a tale similar to the Ese Oruru case, a 14-year-old Christian girl who was abducted by an aide of the Emir of Katsina is set to marry the monarch, The Punch reports.

According to the Katsina Emirate Council, the marriage of the girl, Habiba Isa to the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumin Usman, was irreversible because she converted to Islam willingly.

However, the girl’s family on Wednesday refuted the claim, alleging that Usman forcefully abducted their 14-year-old daughter and forced her into marrying him.

Habiba who is from the Isiyaku Tanko family of Warkaza community in the Kudun Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State was said to have been abducted on August 16, 2016, by one Jamilu Lawal, an aide of the emir.

The education of Habiba, who is set to turn 15 on October 15, 2016 has been stopped since her alleged abduction.

The incident was made public by her father who lodged a complaint with Stefanos Foundation, a humanitarian civil rights organisation, which took over the matter.

 

The Katsina state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) visited the palace on Thursday.

During their visit, the Kaora Katsina, Alhaji Nuhu Abdulkadir, on behalf of the emirate council asked her three questions.

Firstly, if she was forcefully converted to Islam, to which she replied no.

Secondly, she was asked whether the emirate council or any other person forced her into the marriage with the emir, to which she also answered no.

The third and final question was whether by the time she met her husband, she was already experiencing menstrual period, to which she answered yes.

The Kaora Katsina said, “The three questions are in line with the dictates of the Islamic religion. Since Isa has voluntarily answered the three questions in our presence, there is no going back on her marriage.”

A letter that was purportedly written by Habiba’s father was read to the gathering where he apologised to the council for any embarrassment he my have caused.

The CAN Chairman for Katsina State, Very Rev. Nelson Ugochukwu, expressed his displeasure about the incident saying the girl’s parents who reside in Abuja were not in support of the marriage.

He said, “This girl (Isa) standing before us is 14 years. She is supposed to be in school and not given out in marriage.

“We are not pleased and we demand justice. Her parents are in Abuja, crying for justice. In my religion, you cannot give out any lady in marriage without the consent of her parents. This marriage does not have the consent of this little girl’s parent. The parents are not happy with what has happened.

“As the CAN chairman in Katsina, I am the father of all Christians in the state. Our people are not happy. The parents told me that the girl is 14 years. She is supposed to be in school. I want justice to be done in this matter. I want the emirate to look into the matter. To us, the girl is still a Christian.”

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