The Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase yesterday insisted that the abductor of the 14-year-old Ese Oruru, identified as Yinusa (a.k.a Yellow) would be prosecuted despite claims by his father that his son has not committed any crime.
Arase spoke yesterday at a one-day awareness workshop on sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria, organised by the Nigeria Police, in collaboration with Cleen Foundation and Ford Foundation in Benin, the Edo State capital.
Ese was abducted in Bayelsa State and taken to Kano in August 2015 by Yinusa, where he converted her to Islam and forcefully married her without the consent of her parents.
The father of the suspect, identified as Alhaji Dairu Bala, had reportedly said at his Tofa home in Kuru Local Council of Kano State that his son followed “his heart” when the teenage girl “fell in love” with him and “followed him.”
But speaking through the Gender Officer, Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Mrs. Mairo Adebalogun, Arase noted that Bala’s claim of innocence was irrelevant, insisting that Yinusa would be prosecuted, adding that his father’s defence could not stand the test of law. “It does not. The father is not the person in the picture of this issue right now; it is his son. The police are going to investigate and if they find him wanting, they will prosecute him.”
Also, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 1, Kano, Shuaibu Gambo, said the abductor of Oruru would be prosecuted.
Gambo, who gave the assurance while addressing a news conference in Kano yesterday, said the abductor of the girl, Yunusa, must face the full wrath of the law in order to serve as deterrent to others who might contemplate committing the same offence.
“The action of Yunusa is a criminal offence. So, he must be prosecuted in accordance with the law of the land,” he said. He said all those who played any role in the mishandling of the case would also be prosecuted as the IG had already ordered a full-scale investigation into the matter.
And in what seemed admittance of negligence on the part of the security agents, Gambo said: “Police innocently presumed that the case might have been resolved by the Sharia commission, which as you know, is also empowered to adopt alternative dispute resolution measures in cases of this nature”.
He, however, exonerated the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, from complicity in the abduction saga.
“Another aspect of this press briefing is to put on record that the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi II, had indeed directed that the abducted girl be returned to her parents in Bayelsa, as far back as August 2015.
“Information as obtained from my predecessor, AIG Tambari Yabo, confirmed that His Royal Highness actually sent a delegation, with a letter requesting the police to take back the girl to her parents,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Police Command has confirmed the presence of Ese Oruru in Yenagoa, the police Commissioner in Bayelsa. There was an allegation yesterday that the police were playing a hide and seek game with journalists who sought to see the young girl in person.
The Police Commissioner, Peter Ogunyanwo, made the confirmation last night when he said: “I can confidently tell you that she is in Bayelsa and she is right where you are now, hale and hearty. We are just trying to counsel her, as you can see, my wife just finished speaking with her. And that is what we intend doing in the next few days.”
On the pregnancy status of the girl, the police chief said: “I am a police officer and not a police doctor, so I wouldn’t know about that. It is for her parents to decide whether to go for a pregnancy test or not.”
The parents of the girl have also refused to see journalists or talk with the press as their Opolo residence in the suburb of Yenagoa was deserted while phone calls to their lines did not go through.
Journalists have mounted vigilance at the premises of the Police Officers Mess, where Ese is being kept, while stern-looking police officers mount the entrance.
A press briefing earlier scheduled by the Police was put off without any genuine reason. There were reports that the girl was moved to the Government House where she is expected to be handed over to Governor Seriake Dickson.
A human rights activist, Comrade Ebiserikumo Gbassa, has frowned at the manners the Bayelsa State government, the Police Command and the even the wife of the governor handled the Ese Oguru’s saga.
He lamented the alleged “lukewarm attitude of security apparatus in the state, the non-committal attitude of the House of Assembly, the governor and his wife towards the Ese Oguru saga since August.”
He said the police commissioner, should explain to Bayelsans why they are hiding Ese and the parents, saying it was high time Bayelsans were allowed to see the girl.
Gbassa said: “Ese is there, that I can confirmed but they should tell us why they are hiding her, at least she is not in the palace of the Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, so the Commissioner of Police should come out openly and tell us, after all they (Police) committed a lot of administrative misgivings here on this case. They threatened to lock up the women at the state Police Command here when she was trying to do everything possible to see that her daughter returns.
“I am taking up a case against the Investigative Police Officer (IPO) and the commissioner in charge of Bayelsa who handed Ese’s case.”
SOURCE: GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER