A Nigerian Teenage Girl Was Kidnapped And Forced Into Marriage And We Have Questions

February 29, 2016

Abducted and far away from home, 14 year old Ese Oruru is an underage bride to her captor and is currently being held in Kano.

On August 12 2015, Ese was taken by a man from her mother’s shop in Opolo, Bayelsa.

Her mother Mrs Rose Oruru, a food vendor, had returned from the market to meet her daughter’s absence.

Learning that Ese was last seen at 11 am of that day, a worried Mrs Oruru began a search for her daughter.

She also informed the police and some of the northern artisans who bought food from her. She later learned of her daughter’s abduction from a man named Mohammed.

The story was corroborated by another man named Dan Kano who promised to help bring Ese back home.

Apparently, a certain Yinusa sold his commercial tricycle, packed up and took Ese to Kano for the sole purpose of marrying her and forcefully converting her to Islam.

Dan Kano rather than fufill his promise, sent a man named Rabiu to accompany Mrs Oruru to a village in Kura, Kano where Ese was being held.

They presented the case to the community chief of Kura but unfortunately, he wasn’t sympathetic and mentioned Ese being held at the Emir’s quarters. He also told the anguished mother that Ese had converted to Islam and was no longer the daughter of the Orurus.

Rather than getting frustrated, Mrs Oruru only became more determined and marched to the said quarters with Rabiu.

They were both barred from entering the palace but went on to report to Kwani police station after an elderly man alerted the police.

Upon obtaining permission from the police station in his village, the Chief of Kura brought Ese to the Emir’s palace on August 17 but she was not granted access to see her mother.

Following several visits to the police station and transfer of the case to the State Criminal Investigation Command in Kano and Bayelsa states, some men including Dan Kano were arrested in Bayelsa.

Also, Yinusa contacted Mrs Oruru over the phone stating how he sought permission from Dan Kano before taking Ese with him.

How does someone seek permission to take a teenage girl away from a man that is not related to her in any manner?

Ese’s parents made another trip to Kwani police station on September 2 in the company of Dan Kano and the Chairman of the Hausa community in Yenogoa.

They were received by the Emir of Kano who claimed to have previously sent a letter demanding Ese’s release on August 26.

Ese’s parents turned to Non Governmental Organisations such as the Child Protection Network who have raised awareness to help secure her safe return to her family.

The Inspector-General of police however credited the delay in tackling the case to the Emir’s absence due to his Hajj Umrah trip.

This raises several questions. Should the police not be completely in charge of the case?

Also, how many other teenage girls have been kidnapped and forced into marriages as such?

How is it possible for her captor to be walking free despite being responsible for the kidnap of a minor?

Why is a community chief preventing Ese’s release with obvious backing from the police in his community?

Forced marriages stay on top of the list of things that negatively affect female teenagers. Kidnapped girls are also usually sexually exploited and manipulated in several other ways by their captors. We hope Ese gets safely reunited with her family.

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