A teenager, who was kidnapped from Bayelsa State to Kano, Ese Oruru, said on Monday she was not interested in reuniting with her family, claiming she was not abducted from her home.
In an exclusive audio recording obtained by PREMIUM TIMES on Monday, the girl also said 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.
The recording appeared a conversation between Miss Oruru and a police interrogator in Kano.
A human rights lawyer, Huwaila Mohammed, who was given access to the girl at the Zonal Police Headquarters in Kano, 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.”
Ms. Mohammed, who also spoke with Miss Oruru’s lover, Yunusa Yellow, said upon interrogation, she 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.
But 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.
In his reaction, the emir of Kano denied reports that he was holding Miss Oruru.
The emir said on Monday that since September last year, the emirate council handed her over to AIG Zone 1, Tambari Yabo, for onward transportation to her family in Bayelsa.
He said the district head of Kura brought the case to the palace when Mr. Yunusa presented Ms. Oruru to the district office, seeking approval to marry her.
The emir’s Chief of Staff, Munir Sanusi, further shed lights on the matter, saying the emir ordered that she be return to her family as she was too young to take such decision.
“The emir attached the girl with the palace emissary, Jakadan Mallam, and one of her relatives to go to the police headquarters,” Mr. Sanusi said.
“Since she alleged threats from members of his family, we involved the police to provide security.”
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, said he was on top of the situation as he had spoken to his Kano State counterpart, Abdullahi Ganduje, on the matter.
The governor’s Special Adviser on Media, Francis Agbo, said Mr. Seriake had discussed the matter with Mr. Ganduje on several occasions to ensure a faster resolution of the crisis.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that Miss Oruru’s “kidnapper” has been arrested and is being detained at the Zone 1 Police Headquarters, Kano.
The spokesman for the zonal police office, Rabilu Ringim, could not be reached to comment for this story.
Mr. Ringim, an assistant superintendent of police, did not answer or return multiple calls and text message.
Audio recording of Miss Oruru to come shortly…