No going back on Habiba’s marriage to Emir – Katsina Emirates Council

No going back on Habiba’s marriage to Emir – Katsina Emirates Council
October 14 05:41 2016

The Katsina Emirate Council has endorsed the marriage between Habiba Isa and the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumin Usman.

The union became a subject of controversy on Wednesday when Habiba’s father, Isiyaku Tanko, told journalists in Abuja that his daughter was abducted and forcefully married and converted to Islam by the monarch.

The council however said on Thursday that the marriage and Isa’s conversion to Islam were voluntarily.

The council told officials of the Katsina State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, who visited the palace over the issue, that there was no evidence that the 14-year-old girl was forced into marrying the Emir.

The family of Isiyaku Tanko of Warkaza community in the  Kudun Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State

said Habiba abducted on August 16, 2016, by one Jamilu Lawal, an aide of the emir, who worked in the palace. She was allegedly converted to Islam and held incommunicado.

According to the parents, Habiba would clock 15 years on Saturday, October 15, 2016, and would have resumed school for the new academic term, but for her abduction.

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.

She 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.

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 no.

The third question was whether by the time she met her husband, she was already experiencing menstrual period, to which she answered yes.

“The three questions are in line with the dictates of the Islamic religion. Since Habiba has voluntarily answered the three questions in our presence, there is no going back on her marriage,” he said.

The CAN Chairman for Katsina State, Very Rev. Nelson Ugochukwu 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.

“This girl (Isa) standing before us is 14 years. She is supposed to be in school and not given out in marriage.

“We are not pleased and we demand justice. Her parents are in Abuja, crying for justice. In my religion, you cannot give out any lady in marriage without the consent of her parents. This marriage does not have the consent of this little girl’s parent. The parents are not happy with what has happened.

“As the CAN chairman in Katsina, I am the father of all Christians in the state. Our people are not happy. The parents told me that the girl is 14 years. She is supposed to be in school. I want justice to be done in this matter. I want the emirate to look into the matter. To us, the girl is still a Christian,” he said.