The Federal High Court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital, has sentenced Yinusa Dahiru to 26 years in prison after he was found guilty of child trafficking and other charges.
Dahiru took Ese Oruru from her home in Bayelsa on August 12, 2015, to Kano State where he ‘forcefully’ married her and changed her name to Aisha after converting to Islam. Oruru was 13 years old then.
Her parents and human rights activists thereafter petitioned the police to investigate the case of Ese’s human right being violated by an individual.
Ese was later returned to Bayelsa in March 2016, pregnant. Ese was delivered of a baby girl on May 26, 2016.
Dahiru was later charged with child trafficking, child abuse, rape, kidnap, infringement on the right to religion, and holding a person against her will.
He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
One of Dahiru’s lawyer said the case was ‘a typical case of Romeo and Juliet’ and disagreed that Ese was 13 years old.
The judge Justice Jane Inyang held that Dahiru was not guilty of count one which bothered on abduction.
The judge, however, found him guilty of child trafficking, illicit sex, sexual exploitation and unlawful carnal knowledge.
He was jailed five years in count two which bothered on child trafficking, seven years in count three – illicit sex, seven years in count four sexual exploitation and seven years in count five – unlawful carnal knowledge.
The judge, however, held that the sentences should run consecutively, which means the convict will spend a maximum of 26 years in jail unless he gets his conviction overturned by the appellate court.