In a shocking development, 14-year-old, Miss Ese Oruru; the girl who was allegedly abducted from her Bayelsa home and taken to Kano for a forced marriage has on the contrary stated that she is not interested in reuniting with her family, claiming also that she was not abducted from her home.
The teenager, in an exclusive audio recording obtained by Premium Times on Monday averred that she came to Kano to convert to Islam.
“My name is Aisha Chuwas. I am 17-year-old. I came here to be a Muslim and I will stay here,” she said in the audio, upon her interrogation by a police officer.
Huwaila Mohammed, a human rights lawyer, who was granted access to the teenage girl at the Zonal Police Headquarters in Kano, before her departure to Abuja, said upon interrogation, she understood the girl was never forced to convert to Islam.
“I was there to protect her rights,” Ms. Mohammed said. “When I approached her initially, she refused to talk to me. Later she opened up to me.
“She is very defiant. She told me she was born in February 1999. I personally wanted her to reunite with her family, but surprisingly she asked me to tell her mother that she will never return to Bayelsa.
“The police should ensure that she is protected and returned to her family. She is still not matured enough to take such a weighty decision without parental consent.”
While interrogating Miss Oruru’s lover, Yunusa Yellow, the human right lawyer established that he is 18-year-old man “not anywhere above 20”.
“I was surprised when I saw a very small boy. He is just 18-year old. I was enraged thinking that it was an old man involved in the saga. From the way I see it, they eloped not because of religion but love,” she said.
Ms Mohammed, however, maintained that Miss Oruru is a minor, and under Nigerian law, she is not considered matured enough to take a decision to convert to another religion and leave her parents.