My role in Ese’s abduction saga—Emir
… as groups insist on culprit’s arrest
The 14 years old Ese Rita Oruru, who was abducted by one Yinusa, alias Yelllow, from her mother’s shop in Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, August 12, 2015, and whisked to Kano State, has been rescued.
She was freed last night, following a directive by the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to the Commissioner of Police, Kano State, Mohammed Katsine, yesterday, to liase with the state’s Emirate Council and relevant persons.
Confirming the rescue in a telephone chat yesterday, Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Olabisi Kolawole, said Arase had directed that Ese Oruru be given protection, adding that she will be flown to Abuja tomorrow (today) to be re-united with her family.
It was gathered that the IG had made arrangements to move the family to Abuja for the re-union with their daughter.
Meanwhile, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, yesterday, blamed police and other para-military agencies over failure to return Ese Rita Oruru to her family.
Ese hails from Uwherun town in Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State.
Her abductors had earlier rebuffed efforts by her parents to secure her release after they converted the teenager to Islam, renamed her Aisha and betrothed her to Yinusa.
The girl’s father, Mr. Charles Oruru, who spoke to Vanguard in Yenagoa, said: “Without the support of the media and civil society groups, there is nothing I could have done. Left to the police, the matter would have died a natural death and she would have been lost in Kano. We are praying for her return so that we can all celebrate.
“If they bring my daughter back successfully, I will be very happy. I am like a fish out of water. I have not been myself since she was forcibly taken away from us.
“Whenever I think of her, I shed tears. She is only a minor. She was taken away when she was 13 years old, but she is now 14. I do not have many children and the few I have, I make sure I take good care of them because I know they will be great in future.”
On his part, narrating his involvement in the saga, Sanusi II said: “I ordered Ese’s repatriation since September 2015, through the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 1. But to my surprise, the issue is still hanging between the Sharia commission, Hisbah and police.
“Police are those behind this delay. I have done my best for her. It is unfortunate that the police are delaying this matter.
“I received phone calls from friends outside the shores of this country over Ese. What I knew was that the matter is something I had settled six months ago.”
The emir recalled how he directed that the District Head of Kura, Sharia commission and Hisbah to investigate the allegation Ese raised over threats by her estranged parents to her life, adding that the report confirmed the allegation, while he had since requested police intervention to provide cover.
It’s not Islamic—EMIR
The emir, who declared null and void Ese’s marriage to her suspected lover, said: “Ese is underage and she cannot be married off.
“Every Muslim also knew that marriage cannot be without guidance. She must be taken back to her parents and can only marry when she is 18 years.
“It is unIslamic for someone to marry a lady without approval of the guardian. The abduction of Ese by my subject is worrisome because it will cause disunity among our people. I feel it is something we should urgently call to order.”
The emir also directed the Sharia commission to liaise with the Assistant Inspector General of Police and send the girl back to her family.
It was gathered that the planned Bring back EseOruru rally slated for yesterday in Yenagoa by civil society organisations was suspended.
Governor Seriake Dickson, it was gathered, had contacted his Kano State counterpart on the issue and was given assurance that she would be set free.
Executive Director, Kindling Hope Across Nations Initiative, KHAN, Kizito Andah, initiators of Bring back EseOruru, described Dickson’s intervention as heart warming, saying “our governor has stepped in powerfully. That was why the rally was suspended.”
The forum also had in attendance, the parents of the abducted child, Mr. and Mrs Charles Oruru; Coordinator, UNICEF Child Protection Network and Bayelsa Legal Aids Council, Kombo Eze; Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, Arch Bishop Jacob Akpiri; Vice President-General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Bayelsa State chapter, and South-South Commissioner, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Alhaji Abdulrahman Eneware, among others.
Urhobo Monitoring and Development Group, UMDG, led by the President, Mr. Kingsley Oberuruaria, had earlier issued a two-week ultimatum to the Kano State Government and Emir of Kano to produce Ese Oruru.
How far we went —Ese’s father
Narrating his experience since his daughter’s abduction, Mr. Oruru said: “On August 12, 2015, when I returned from work, I was told that Ese had gone to see her classmate who had an accident at Tombia.
“When she did not return home, we began a search and one Mohammed (alias Daidi) informed us that one Mr. Yinusa (alias Yellow) had taken Ese to Kano to convert her into Islam, recruit her into an Islamist fanatical group and marry her.
“I want to make it clear that no one consulted me or paid me bride price for my daughter. Besides, she is too young and is still in school. I do not have any prior knowledge or consented to what happened.
“My wife is a food vendor and her customers are mostly Hausa men, who she sometime gives free meal. The said Mr. Yinusa does not have a steady source of income; sometimes my wife gives him free meal.
“As much as I know, he was not having any affair with my daughter and I am sure that he must have used charms.
“Acting on the above information, my wife (Mrs Rose Oruru) approached one Dan Kano, who not only confirmed the story but also promised to take her to Kano to recover our daughter.
“Dan Kano reneged on his promise and rather sent one Rabiu to accompany her to Kano.
“We were advised that only my wife should go to Kano. On August 14, 2015 she went there and the said Rabiu took my wife to the chief of a village called Tufa in Kura Local Government Area of Kano State on August 15, 2015.
“After relaying the purpose of their visit, the said chief was furious with Rabiu for bringing my wife to Kano and told them that Ese had been converted to Islam and renamed Aisha, married and that the child was no longer her child.
“He also informed them that Ese was in the custody of the Emir of Kano, HH Muhammadu Sanusi II, at the palace.
“My wife, in the company of Rabiu, approached the Emir of Kano’s palace but were driven away by youths.
“The said Yinusa, through phone calls, informed my wife that he did not kidnap her daughter as he took permission from Dan Kano before he abducted her.
“Sensing the impossibility of seeing her daughter or having an audience with the Emir, my wife broke into tears and drew a lot of attention. On hearing her cries, an elderly man called the police.
“Police took her to Kwani Police Station where her statement was taken and she was accompanied to the Emir’s palace, but were prevented from entering.
“They proceeded to the house of the Galadima of Kano, who stated that he does not know anything about the matter.
“The team went to see the Adviser to Emir, who told them that he does not want to be involved in the matter and then to the Secretary to the Emir.
“The Secretary informed them that the Chief of Tufa Village got an approval from Kura Police Station to take Ese to the Emir’s palace; that Ese is now a convert of Islam and if brought to her mother, that the mother would not be able to talk or touch her, otherwise either she (the mother) or Ese would die. He advised that they wait till August 17, 2015 to see the Emir.
“On August 17, 2015, the DCO, a Police Inspector from Kwani Police Station, the Chief of Tufa village and my wife were at the palace where the Emir of Kano sat in council.
“Ese was also brought in a black SUV with two Police escorts; Yinusa was also present. When the case was mentioned, every other person was allowed inside except my wife.
“On returning from the Emir’s court, the DCO informed her that the Emir of Kano told them to go to the Sharia Court, which they objected to.
“Police transferred the matter to State CID in Kano State, where she was asked to go back to Bayelsa and report to the Bayelsa State Police Command. My wife returned to Bayelsa on August 17, 2015 and a report was made at the Ekeki Police Station and the matter was later transferred to State CID Yenagoa.
“Police at Yenagoa made some arrests, including Dan Kano, and a trip was embarked upon to Kano on September 2, 2015 with the following persons: Dan Kano, K. C. Dahiru, the Chairman of the Hausa community in Yenagoa; Mr. Charles Oruru and two police officers from State CID.
“The team reported at the Kwani Police Station in Kano, where another visit was made to the Emir of Kano.
“The Emir informed them that he had since August 26, 2015 sent a letter for the release of Ese to her parents. Another was written but was not responded to.”