Court strikes out suit challenging girl’s conversion to Islam

Justice Baraka Wali of Katsina State High Court, on Friday struck out a suit filed by the Trustees of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) and Stefanos Foundation against the conversion of a girl, Habiba Ishaku, to Islam.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the girl had eloped, converted to Islam and “married” Jamilu Lawal in Wawarkaza village of Kankara Local Government Area, Katsina State.

Her father, Ishaku Tanko, Stefanos Foundation and the Church, went to the court seeking to annul the decision, saying the girl is a minor.

Respondents in the case were the Katsina State Government, Katsina Emirate Council and the girl’s “husband”, Jamilu Lawal.

NAN also reports that the girl had, however, written a letter to the court to disassociate herself from the suit purportedly instituted on her behalf.

She denied being a minor and put her age at 18 as at the time she embraced Islam and got married.

During the Friday proceedings, Justice Wali, struck out the case while ruling on a “notification letter of discontinuation of the suit” sent to the court by the plaintiffs’ counsel, Bawa Yakubu.

She said that the letter indicated an amicable settlement of the matter between all the parties involved following the intervention of Gov. Aminu Masari.

“An applicant has right to file a case or withdraw it,’’ she said, and ordered the applicants to pay N10,000 cost to Jamilu Lawal, for withdrawing the suit.

The judge, however, turned down the prayer of counsel to Habiba’s husband, Bako Nasir, which asked the court to issue a proactive order that would prevent police from arresting and intimidating his client in connection with the case.(NAN)


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