Mallam Dahiru Bala, the father of Yunusa, a Kano indigene accused of abducting Bayelsa girl, Ese Oruru, said his son has never been a criminal for him to abduct the girl.
He said his son worked for Ese’s parents for many years as water vendor in Bayelsa State.
Speaking to Daily Trust in their village, Tofar-Danga in Kura, Kano State, Mallam Bala said Ese’s parents knew Yunusa for the past 10 years and that they knew about his relationship with their daughter.
The father made some interesting revelations. He said:
“My son supplied water to Ese’s parents for many years before he converted to a tricycle rider. And even after that, he related closely with Oruru’s family. They knew he is not a criminal and will never abduct their daughter.”
He said his son was never been accused of any criminal offense in Kano and Bayelsa states or any other place in the country and therefore should not be seen as one.
Bala said his son believed in hard work to earn a living and that was why he has been travelling to the south to conduct his businesses.
He said earlier before Yunusa brought the girl to Kano, he informed him about his relationship with her. He said three months later his son approached him again that he wanted to go to Bayelsa and he allowed him thinking that the marriage issue will not resurface again.
According to him, when his son brought Ese to the village sometimes in August last year, he objected to his son’s proposal, but the girl pleaded with him.
Bala noted that: “I had to change my decision to save her life because she was desperate about him and only God knows what will happen if at that time I insisted that she will not marry him. However, that same night they arrived at the village, I directed my son to report the matter to the village head and he did.”
He further recalled that the girl spent three days in Tofar-Danga and lived with Yunusa’s mother whom she considers her mother.
He said when the case came up recently, Ese’s mother had visited Tofar-Danga with intention to take back her daughter, but she refused to follow her.
Bala, who expressed delight for Ese reuniting with her family, also appealed to police authorities to release his son.
He said: “I am grateful to God that the girl has finally reunited with her parents. I am therefore calling on the police to also release my son.”
Human rights activist reacts
A known activist in the area, Barrister Huwaila Muhammad Ibrahim told newsmen in Kano that contrary to speculations, the girl willingly embraced Islam.
Barrister Huwaila said: “From my conversation with the girl, Yunusa never abducted her from Bayelsa. She willingly followed him to Kano and she confessed that she wanted to marry him.
“Yunusa should not be punished for bringing the girl to Kano because she followed him willingly. He did not force her and therefore he didn’t commit any offense,” she averred.