The alleged kidnapped, and subsequent forced marriage, of 14-year-old schoolgirl, Ese Oruru, by a tricycle driver known as Yinusa, aka Yellow, has elicited an unprecedented amount of reaction from ordinary and influential Nigerians.
This, and a series of events, has culminated in the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II ordering the state Sharia Commission to liaise with office of the Assistant Inspector General of police, zone 1 to begin the process of repatriating Ese Oruru.
The Emir of Kano said on Monday: “I have ordered the sharia commission to liaise with the office of Deputy Inspector General of police zone to repatriate and reconcile the teenager with her family immediately.”
Oruru was allegedly abducted from Opolo, Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State by a certain Yunusa in August 2015.
According to an investigative report by Punch Newspapers, Ese was allegedly kidnapped from her mother’s food vendor shop in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, on August 12, 2015.
Yinusa is said to be one of the long standing customers of the girl’s mother, Rose Oruru. At the time of her kidnap, Ese was only 13 years old.
According to the mother: “When I came back, the elder brother of Ese, Kevin, 16, said Ese had left the shop since 11am and had not returned. I enquired where she could have gone, but he said he did not know.”
“From there, I started looking for her, asking neighbours if they saw her, but they said they did not. As she usually sold food to northern artisans, I went to the place they usually gathered to find out if they saw Ese. But by the time I got there, they were in the mosque, so, I had to go back.”
“After some minutes, I sent my son back to the place and directed that he should tell anybody he saw there that I wanted to see Yinusa. As the boy got there, one of them asked my son to tell me to come. When I got there, he said Yinusa, who is also called Yellow, told them he had sold his commercial tricycle and had gone home to Kano with my daughter, Ese. They told me Yinusa said he was taking Ese home to convert her to Islam to enable him to marry her.”
With the aid of a northerner, identified as Rabiu, Rose journeyed to the northern city of Kano in search of her daughter, arriving on the 14th of August- after which, she was taken to the chief of a village in Tufa, Kura Local Government Area of Kano State, by Rabiu.
The chief on hearing her reason for coming, angrily queried Rabiu for bringing her to Kano.
He further revealed that Ese had been converted to Islam and renamed Aisha while adding that she has been married off.
“He also informed us that Ese was in the custody of the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, at the palace,” Rose said.
Hence, she set off to the palace of the emir, where she was denied entrance by some youths.
Rose was also informed by her daughter’s kidnapper, Yinusa, through a phone call, that Ese was not abducted, instead she came of her own volition.
Rose, however, went to the police where she made a statement.
She said: “When the police arrived, they took me to Kwani Police Station in Kano, where my statement was taken and police officers accompanied me first to the Emir’s palace but we were prevented from entering the palace.”
“The police then proceeded to the house of the Galadima of Kano, who stated that he did not know anything about the matter. The team proceeded to see the adviser to the Emir, who told them that he did not want to be involved in the matter and then we went to the Secretary to the Emir of Kano.”
“The secretary informed us that the Chief of Tufa village got an approval from Kura Police Station to take the 14-year-old Ese to the Emir’s Palace.”
“They said Ese is now a convert of Islam and if brought to her mother, she would not be able to talk or touch her, otherwise, either she (the mother) or Ese would die. He advised that we waited till August 17 to see the Emir.”
Rose went further to say that she saw her daughter when the Emir sat in council.
“I saw my daughter being brought in a black Sport Utility Vehicle with two police escorts and Yinusa was also present. When the case was mentioned, every other person was allowed inside except me. When the DCO returned from the Emir’s court, he informed me that the Emir of Kano asked us to go to the Sharia Court, which I objected to.”
She was, however, referred back to Bayelsa state to make her complaint at the state’s Criminal Investigation department.
The state police arrested one Dan Kano, leader of the hausa community in Bayelsa state. Rose, alongside her husband, Dan Kano and two policemen travelled back to Kano state.
“The team reported at the Kwani Police Station in Kano where another visit was made to the Emir of Kano.
“The Emir informed them that he had since August 26 sent a letter for the release of Ese to her parents,” Rose said.
According to mother, despite all the efforts made, Ese was yet to be brought back home.
On his part, the girl’s father, Charles Oruru, said that: “We have tried all we could to get our daughter released to no avail. I am appealing to the Federal Government and the relevant authorities to intervene in the matter to get my daughter released. We do not want this to degenerate into a tribal crisis.”
The girl’s parents also sought the help of non-governmental organizations, who are also working for the girls release.