Police orders Katsina minor to return home; denies knowledge of forceful marriage, conversion to Islam
The Katsina State Police Command on Monday said it was not aware of any marriage between Habiba Isiyaku, the 14-year-old girl who was allegedly converted to Islam and forced into marriage by her alleged abductor, Jamilu Lawal.
The command ordered her to return to her parent’s house, saying at her age, she was too young to take any decision on religion and marriage.
Recall that the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Usman had been accused of marrying off Habiba to her kidnapper, although, he dismissed the allegation, saying the girl had indicated interest in the marriage.
Habiba had also dismissed the claims of her forceful marriage, saying that she changed her religion and got married in her own volition.
The state Commissioner of Police, CP, Usman Abdullahi, gave the advice at a press conference in Katsina, while explaining the police’s position on the development.
According to him, the police became aware of the matter last month (September) after a petition, written on behalf of Habiba’s parents, which was submitted at the command headquarters by a legal chamber, Bawa, Bawa &Partners, which accused Lawal of abduction and forced marriage.
Abdullahi said the command thereafter invited Lawal, adding that investigation into the case absolved him of any criminal act and that the command had no choice, but to release him on bail.
The CP said, “It was gathered that the girl was neither “kidnapped, abducted nor procured,” as she was the one who willingly left her parents’ house to the house of the Chairman of Hisbah, who took her to their village head and later to the district head of Kankara, where she explained that she had converted to Islam.
“This was contained in the statement she gave willingly to the police. It was on this note that the suspect (Lawal) was released since the case of alleged kidnapping and abduction could not be established against him.
“The command also invited the Emir of Katsina, some senior police officers, Habiba’s father, Isyaku Tanko; his two brothers, whose names were not given; their lawyer, state and local government chairmen of the Christian Association of Nigeria, as well as the association’s officials from the Kankara Local Government Area, to a meeting.
“At the meeting, Isa, in addition to the written statement, said she decided on her own to leave her parents’ house for Kankara town, where she converted to Islam, without the influence of Lawal.
“In view of the foregoing, I want to advise the girl to go back to her parents.
“The police are not party to the changing of the girl’s faith.
“The police are not aware of any marriage; and if there is any marriage, the police are not a party to it,” the CP insisted.
Via Daily Post