The Katsina Emirate Council on Thursday declared that the marriage
between 14-year-old girl, Habiba Isa, and the 65 year old Emir of
Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumin Usman, was irreversible.
The council said the marriage and Isa’s conversion to Islam were voluntarily and willingly entered into by the girl.
The council told officials of the Katsina State chapter of the Christian
Association of Nigeria, who visited Usman in his palace over the issue,
that there was no evidence that the 14-year-old girl was forced to act
against her wish.
|14 year old Habiba before she was abducted and forcefully married|
The family of Isiyaku Tanko of Warkaza community in the Kudun Kankara
Local Government Area of Katsina State on Wednesday alleged that Usman
forcefully abducted their 14-year-old daughter and forced her into
She was said to have been abducted on August 16, 2016, by one Jamilu
Lawal, an aide of the emir, who worked in the palace. She was converted
to Islam and held incommunicado.
Isa is expected to clock 15 years on Saturday, October 15, 2016, and
would have resumed school for the new academic term, but for her
She was said to have passed her Junior Secondary School Certificate
Examination and was expected to start Senior Secondary School.
The incident was blown open when the father of the victim lodged a
complaint with Stefanos Foundation, a humanitarian civil rights
organisation, which took over the matter.
Isa was allowed to appear before CAN officials and others in the palace
on Thursday, and was asked three questions by the Kaora Katsina, Alhaji
Nuhu Abdulkadir, on behalf of the emirate council.
|At the palace|
She was asked whether she was forcefully converted to Islam, to which she replied no.
She was also asked whether the emirate council or any other person
forced her into the marriage with the emir, to which she also answered
The third question was whether by the time she met her husband, she was
already experiencing menstrual period, to which she answered yes.
The Kaora Katsina said, “The three questions are in line with the
dictates of the Islamic religion. Since Isa has voluntarily answered the
three questions in our presence, there is no going back on her
Abdulkadir explained that in as much as the emirate council would not
want to be involved in the controversy surrounding the marriage, the
palace of the emir was open to all Nigerians irrespective of religion
A letter purportedly written by Isa’s father was read to the gathering,
apologising to the emirate council for any embarrassment the issue might
have caused it (the council).
|her unhappy parents|
The CAN Chairman for Katsina State, Very Rev. Nelson Ugochukwu, however,
told the emirate council that Isa’s marriage did not have the consent
of her parents, who he said, were crying for justice in Abuja.
The CAN leader said the association was not in support of the marriage and her conversion to Islam.