Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Journalists as well as the parents of Ese, Rose and Charles Oruru, were yesterday barred from the court room as the Justice Njiya Ngajiwa-led Federal High Court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, began taking evidence from the minor in private.
Justice Ngajiwa had earlier yesterday morning “stood down’’ the case for about four hours to allow him dispose of all other matters for the day before acceding to the prosecution’s plea for the teenager’s evidence to be extracted in camera.
At the time of filing this report, Ese who was brought to the court and was heavily shielded from journalists, was still being grilled by lawyers to Yinusa Dahiru, his alleged abductor, who reportedly impregnated her.
Only lawyers representing Dahiru, who is facing a five-count charge in case No FHC/YNG/17c/2016, between the Inspector General of Police (IG) versus Yinusa Dahiru and the legal team representing the federal government were allowed inside the chambers.
Dahiru, a Kano indigene is being accused of abduction, inducing Miss Oruru, aged 14, by the use of deception and coercion, illicit intercourse, sexual exploitation and unlawful carnal knowledge.
While the IG was represented by Mr. Kenneth Dika, Deme Pamosoo and Joy Wokpe of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, a non-governmental organisation, stood in for Miss Ese.
The defendant, Dahiru, also known as yellow, was represented by Mr. Kayode Olaosebikan, Abdul Mohammed and Oyebiyi Towo.
Before the private session, Dahiru, who was jokingly asked how he was feeling after he heard that Ese had given birth, insisted that Ese was his wife. “I don’t want to talk, but she’s my wife,’’ he told journalists, before he was kept shut by the prison officials who accompanied him to the court.
Parents of the alleged victim, Charles and rose, who were obviously agitated that they were not allowed into the chambers, waited outside the court premises, while their daughter’s evidence was being taken.
Ese recently gave birth to a baby girl and is still in the protective custody of the Bayelsa State Police Command, which has taken responsibility for her upkeep in collaboration with the state government.
But a source who was privy to the goings-on during the private session told THISDAY that Ese was asked questions relating to her alleged abduction and journey to Kano.
“She told the court that she didn’t know how she got to Kano. That she only woke up to find herself in Kano,’’ the source said.
It was also learnt that the judge acceded to the request of the defence team to vary the conditions for Dahiru’s bail.
The defendant had been in prison custody over his inability to meet the bail conditions of a level 12 civil servant, a traditional ruler from Bayelsa axis and a surety of N3million.
While the judge reduced the conditions to a level nine civil servant, he also reportedly granted the prayer of the defendant to allow a Hausa traditional ruler from any community to stand surety.
Justice Nganjiwa eventually adjourned the case to July 1 for further hearing.