Posted by News Express | 13 October 2016 | 10,176 times
The Emir of Katsina, His Royal Highness, Alhaji AbdulMumin Kabiru Usman, abducted and married 14-year-old Habiba Isiyaku against her will and the will of her parents, the girl’s family alleged yesterday, Wednesday, October 12, 2016. The Emir is the traditional ruler of the home state of Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari. The family of Habiba Isiyaku is from Warkaza community in Kudun Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State.
Speaking to journalists in the Nigerian capital Abuja, father of Habiba, Mr. Isiyaku Tanko, said his daughter was abducted on August 16, 2016 by Jamilu Lawal, an official of the Emir of Katsina and a member of the palace staff.
Mr. Tanko, who spoke through his lawyer, Barr. Yakubu Bawa, decried the manner in which the Emir’s staff manhandled him when he went to the palace in his attempt to secure the release of his daughter.
He also complained about the mishandling of the matter by both the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, and the Katsina State Commissioner of Police, Usman Abdullahi.
Barr. Bawa said: “Because she is under a guardian and the control of her parents, now until she clocks 18 that’s the age of maturity and accountability. The second point is that Habiba cannot be forcefully converted to Islam by the Emir of Katsina, His Royal Highness, Alhaji AbdulMumin Kabiru Usman.
“He has no right to do that. The third point to look at is the fact that the Commissioner of Police; this was a helpless man, a vulnerable man that called Stefanos Foundation to come to his aid to secure the release of his daughter.
“And when the CP summoned the parties concerned in his office, what baffled me and my heart is still bleeding is the fact that ordinary security detail gave an instruction that Emir has instructed him that when the girl was brought to his office that he’s under instruction to bring back the girl to the of Palace of the Emir.
“And yet the CP that who has the entire command under his control could not even take a position but unfortunately succumbed to the instruction of an ordinary detail and released that girl back to the palace.
“He instructed the man to go the palace the following day and receive his daughter. For me, with due respect, the CP has failed in his constitutional duties as enshrined in the Police Act.
“On reaching the Emir Police, all that this man will be confronted with was for him to sit on the floor and the Emir demand to introduce the matter through his aide, the Kilishin Katsina, to tell him that, ‘come, since your daughter has converted’ . . . she came with Hijab, she couldn’t look at her mum and her father. He said ‘since she has converted, there is a big barrier between you and your daughter now’.
“The man said ‘if my daughter has converted to Islam, give me my daughter to go and practice her newly found faith in my house’. The Kilishin Katsina said no, that it’s not possible.”
Continuing, the lawyer said: “The Emir then said that the man has committed a crime, he was compelled under duress, in this statement, they forced the man to say that the complaint he made to the police was not true. He left the palace shattered, broken, helpless and emotional broken.
“Habiba is about clocking two months now in captivity.”
Bawa described “the abduction and procurement of a Christian minor, Habiba Isiyaku, by the Emir of Katsina as vicious, barbaric, callous acts and atrocities done to Christians not only in Katsina but the entire North-West of Nigeria.”
Also speaking, an official of Stefanos Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Mr Mark Lipdo, decried the pain the Isiyaku Tanko family has been going through since the forceful abduction of their daughter.
“Habiba is expected to clock 15 years on Saturday, 15th October, 2016 and would have resume school in the new academic term,” Lipdo said.
He said Habiba passed her Junior Secondary School examination in flying colours and was expected to start Senior Secondary School (SSS1) this new term.
Efforts to make the IGP Ibrahim Idris to intervene in the matter were said to have received no positive response from Police Headquarters Abuja. Mr. Idris is also said to have failed to respond to the letter forwarded to his office calling on the police to secure Habiba’s release from her abductors.
Also speaking yesterday, Chief Executive Officer of Fantastic Mum Nigeria (FMN), Mrs. Joy Akanonu, pleaded with President Buhari and his wife Aisha to intervene and secure the release of Habiba.
•Photo shows 14 years old Habiba Isiyaku, who has been held in the Palace of the Emir of Katsina since August 2016.
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