Onungwe Obe in Yenagoa
A Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, Thursday convicted Mr. Yunusa Dahiru for the abduction, raping and impregnating a teenager, Miss Ese Oruru, in 2015.
However, Justice Jane Inyang acquitted Dahiru on count one but jailed him five years on (count two), seven years (count three) seven years (count four) and seven years on count five.
According to the judge, the sentences are to run concurrently.
The abduction of Oruru said to be the youngest child of Mr. Charles Oruru and Mrs. Rose Oruru occurred on 12 August 2015 at her mother’s shop in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Oruru, who was 13-year-old at the time, was abducted by Dahiru (alias Yellow) and taken to Kano, where she was allegedly raped, forcibly converted into Islam and married off without her parents’ consent.
Following public outcry and the intervention of the then Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mr. Solomon Arase, Ese was reportedly rescued by Kano State Police Command on February 29, 2016 and placed in the custody of the government.
Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, and former governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson, also waded into the matter.
She was later revealed to be five-month pregnant with her abductor’s child after being released.
Dahiru was arraigned on March 8, 2016 before the Federal High Court in Yenagoa on charges of criminal abduction, illicit sex, sexual exploitation and having unlawful carnal knowledge of the minor.
Oruru’s abduction drew condemnation from civil society groups and human rights organisation, including human rights lawyer, Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa (SAN), who called the incident a “clear case of child trafficking” and “a worse form of corruption.”
Public outrage over the alleged complicity of Kano State Government had forced the state government, through its Information, Youths and Sports Commissioner, Mr. Mohammed Garba, to deny any involvement.
He called for the prosecution of Dahiru, saying the constitution and Islamic teachings abhor abduction and forced marriage.
Dahiru was arraigned and charged with abduction, kidnapping, unlawful carnal knowledge and sexual exploitation by the police on March 8, 2016.
Dahiru pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail in the sum of N3 million and two sureties.