Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan
Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan

The Minister of Women Affairs, Senator Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan on monday vowed to secure the safe release and return of Ese Oruru, who was said to have been forcefully abducted for marriage in Bayelsa State by Yinusa (popularly known as yellow) from Kano State.

Senator Al-Hassan said the abduction of the 14-year-old girl Bayelsan Ese only got to her notice yesterday, hence promised to prosecute any individual or individauls found culpable to these crimes.

The Taraba State-born politician made this known via her twitter handle after a lot of public outcry calling for the release of the teenage girl, with #freeEse trending in almost every social media platforms.

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Here are some of her tweets;

“The case of Ese Oruru as reported by Punch newspapers was brought to my attention yesterday and I have been looking into it since.

Our laws are very clear on the case, Ese Oruru is 14 and as such cannot consent to marriage. Any such union she’s in is illegal.

I have been in touch with the police authorities in Kano over Ese’s immediate release to her parents and we are making progess.

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I can assure you that I will use all my powers and influence as a Minister and woman to secure the release and return of Ese Oruru.

Ese is still a child under our laws, and her right to freedom of movement is subject to parental control. She must be returned.

Child Rights Act says no person under 18 is capable of contracting a valid marriage, and a marriage so contracted is null and void.

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The Act also clearly states that anyone who marries a child is liable to to a fine of N500,000 or 5 years imprisonment or both.”

There is every need for the government to intervene to avoid reprisal action with the growing public concern and Bayelsans in particular. The Nigerian Police, NAPTIP and Emir of Kano also have to look into this case with all seriousness to ensure safe release of the girl.