Yunusa Dahiru, who abducted Ese Oruru, took her to Kano and forced her into marriage, has been sentenced to 26 years imprisonment.
Dahiru was sentenced on Thursday by a Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State.
Justice Jane Inyang sentenced Dahiru to 26 years in prison in a judgment she delivered on Thursday.
Inyang acquitted Dahiru on Count one but jailed him five years (count two), seven years (count three) seven years (count four) and seven years, count five.
The sentences, according to the judge, would run concurrently.
How she was kidnapped
The kidnapping of Ese Oruru, the youngest child of Charles Oruru and Rose Oruru, occurred on 12 August 2015 at her mother’s shop in Yenagoa local government area, Bayelsa State. Ese, who was 13 years old at the time, was abducted by a man named Yunusa Dahiru (alias Yellow) and taken to Kano, where she was raped, forcibly Islamized and married off without her parents consent.
The conversion and marriage took place in the palace of the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Ese’s story first caught the attention of media outlets when her parents pleaded with the public for her release. Efforts to return the young teenager to her parents proved futile. However, on 29 February 2016, Ese was reported to have been rescued by Kano State Police and placed in custody of the Nigerian government. She was later revealed to be five months pregnant with her kidnapper’s child after being released.
Various leaders, public figures and youth groups condemned Dahiru’s actions. Human rights lawyer, Ebun Adegboruwa, called the incident a “clear case of child trafficking” and “a worse form of corruption.”
Kano State government denied any involvement and demanded the culprit be prosecuted since the Constitution and Islamic teaching abhor abduction and forced marriage.