The Muslim Rights Concern has condemned Ese’s alleged abductor, Yunusa for taking the under-aged girl to Kano in August 2015 and marrying her without her parents consent. In a statement released by its Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola yesterday March 1st, the group said that the fact that Yunusa is a Muslim does not becloud their sense of judgement. The group called for his prosecution.
The statement also added that Ese’s conversion to Islam is null and void as she is still too young to decide what religion asides that of her parents to follow. The statement reads in part
“Our position is based on the fact that the girl is a minor. Attempting to marry off the girl without her parents’ permission is not only a breach of common law, but also a violation of the Sharia provision on the need for the parents’ approval before nikah (Islamic marriage) can be deemed valid (La nikah bila waliyyin). Of particular significance in this regard is the express command in the Glorious Qur’an that women should be married with the permission of their parents. The Qur’an says inter alia, ‘…And marry them (i.e. women) with the permission of their parents (Qur’an 4:25).’ The boyfriend cannot go scot-free if it is established that he had had the carnal knowledge of the girl. In fact, his case is judiciable both before the Kano Sharia Court and the Yenagoa Court. The fact that Yunusa is a Muslim cannot becloud our sense of justice. The Qur’an commands Muslims to ‘…Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses of Allah, even if the case is against yourselves, or your parents, or your family, and whether it is against a rich or poor man… (Qur’an 4:135). Unless it can be proved that the girl came to Kano separately and alone, not in the company of Yunusa, the latter stands culpable. Section 38 (ii) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, stresses the right of parents on their children in matters of religion. The purported conversion is therefore null and void and of no consequence whatsoever. Ese Oruru cannot be free to choose her own faith until she is 18.”the statement added