A fresh controversy has arisen in Zaria, Kaduna State, over an alleged abduction of a 15-year-old school girl, Ifeoma Nicodemus, who was reportedly kidnapped from her family since September 14, 2014.
According to the girl’s father, Nicodemus Odugusi, Ifeoma was abducted 18 months ago when she was 14 and had since been held against her will by one Shehu Abdullahi, who runs an Islamic school in the Samaru area of Zaria.
However, the state police command has denied that the teenager was abducted, saying her parents were merely twisting the story.
Similarly, Abdullahi said he neither abducted nor married the girl, stressing that he was simply keeping custody of her based on the ruling of a court.
Speaking also, Ifeoma told PREMIUM TIMES that she was never abducted by anyone, describing Mr. Abdullahi as a father figure to her.
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A Human Rights Lawyer, Ezekiel Dyagas, averred that the Islamic cleric had earlier told him that he (Abdullahi) was legally married to the girl after she was converted to Islam.
But Abdullahi denied the accusation, saying that he is already married and, hence, cannot take Ifeoma as a wife.
Meantime, the embattled father said for the last 18 months, he had been engaged in a lone fight with Mr. Abdullahi who he said mocked every attempt to free Ifeoma from his captive.
He said; “I am a schoolteacher, so you can imagine my pains at watching another man truncates your child’s education.”
“I have been to the Police; I have been to the Court and all the court said fell on deaf ears as far as Alhaji Shehu Abdullahi is concerned.”
However, Abdullahi countered the father’s argument, stating that Ifeoma was the one who had informed a Sharia court of her intention to convert to Islam.
After her conversion, she was said to have refused to return to her parents. Abdullahi was, thereafter, ordered by the court to keep custody of Ifeoma.
Speaking on the matter, the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Samaru, where the case was initially filed, stated that: “She converted herself to Islam, and then refused to return home.”
“We intervened here, the commissioner of police intervened, and three times she ran away from her parents. The court then handed her over to Mallam Shehu and co. for custody.”
“One day, we brought her to the station, and asked her parents to take her away. She refused. She said she preferred to be detained in our station rather than go home with her parents. We couldn’t keep her in the station because if she disappears, the commissioner of police will hold us responsible.”
Corroborating on police’s version of the matter, the teen maintained that she was not abducted, adding that she is almost 19 not 15 as her parents had previously said.
“I’m married now, not to Mallam Shehu but to someone else,” she said. “My parents are aware, and my sister recently came to my house. I just don’t wan’t to go home because I can’t live with my parent anymore.”
She warned a PREMIUM TIMES reporter not to refer to her as Ifeoma anymore.
“My name now is Aisha, and that’s what you should call me,” she said on telephone.
A recently related controversial incident occurred with another teenage girl, Ese Oruru, who was allegedly abducted from Bayelsa state to Kano, forcibly converted to Islam, married off and impregnated by her alleged abductor and lover, Yinusa Dahiru.