The Katsina State Police Command has asked Habiba Isa, the 14-year-old girl who was allegedly converted to Islam and forced into marriage, to return to her parents’ house, PUNCH reports.
The State Police Commissioner, Usman Abdullahi gave the advice at a press conference in Katsina on Monday.
He said that the Command received a petition in September from a legal chamber Bawa, Bawa & Partners which accused one Jamilu Lawal of abducting and forcing Isa into marriage.
“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,” Abdullahi said.
Abdullahi, explaining the command’s position on the matter, maintained that at her age, she was too young to take any decision on marriage and religion.
He said that the command had organised a meeting on the matter and invited Isa’s father, Isyaku Tanko and his (Tanko’s) two brothers; their lawyer, state and local government chairmen of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), as well as the association’s officials from the Kankara Local Government Area, to a meeting.
Also present at the meeting, according to the commissioner, are Lawal, his father, the representatives of the Emir of Katsina and some senior police officers.
“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 commissioner stated.
There have been controversy on who Isa is married to as PUNCH Newspapers who had earlier reported that the Emirate Council upheld Isa’s marriage to the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumuni Usman, have since deleted the post and are now reporting that Isa got married to Lawal.
Photo Credit: PUNCH