By Amgbare Ekaunkumo,Yenagoa
A Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa on Thursday has sentenced Mr.Yunusa Dahiru to 26 years imprisonment for
abducting 14-year-old teenage girl, Ese Oruru, from her home in Bayelsa state to Kano State.
Daily Watch gathered that Dahiru abducted Ese from her family house at Opolo area of Yenagoa on August 12, 2015, and took her to his home state, Kano, where he converted her into Islam.
Mr.Yunusa was arraigned on March 8, 2016 before the Federal High Court on a five count charge bordering on criminal abduction, illicit intercourse, sexual exploitation and unlawful carnal knowledge of a minor.
He also got Ese, who was 14 years old at the time of the incident, pregnant.
The minor, who was rescued by the police in February 2016 and brought back to Yenagoa in early March, gave birth to a baby girl in May 2016.
On March 8, 2016, Dahiru was arraigned before the Federal High Court on a five count charge bordering on criminal abduction, illicit intercourse, sexual exploitation and unlawful carnal knowledge of a minor.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charge which was read to him in pidgin English but on March 21, the first trial judge, Justice Aliya Nganjiwa, granted him bail in the sum of N3m with two sureties in like sum.
The presiding judge, Justice Jane Inyang, sentenced Dahiru to 26 years imprisonment.
Justice Inyang in her ruling acquitted the accused on count one but found him guilty on counts two, three, four and five.
She, therefore, sentenced Dahiru to five years in prison on count two and seven years each for counts three, four and five and that they would run consecutively.
The judge also held that the failure of the defence team to produce one Abdullahi Zarafat was also “fatal to the defence.”
However,Counsel to Yunusa, Mr. Kayode Olaosebikan, said: “I am not comfortable with the part of the judgement that the sentence should run consecutively which invariably means he will spend 24 years in prison, that is the aspect we are not comfortable with, so if at all we want to appeal, that is the aspect but it is dependent on the client, if he is ready to go all the way out”.
“Though we had something challenges during the course of the trial, there are six other witnesses we needed to have called in this matter, two residents in Bayelsa and four in Kano but none of them were available. if you look at the judgement, the court gave us ample time to call our witnesses. I think at our instances, there were four to five adjournments where the court indulge us to be able call the witnesses but they were not forth coming, so there was nothing we can do.
Yunusa, who appeared in court in handcuffs in a green and white shirt and bathroom slippers, broke down in court after the sentencing, and murmured that he was “treated this way because he is a Muslim”.
Olaosebikan said that his client was at liberty to appeal the judgment, especially because part of it ruled that the sentence should run consecutively.
In his reaction, the prosecution counsel, Samuel Njoku, a Deputy Superintendent of Police from the Force Headquarters, expressed delight that justice had been served and described the judgment as “naked and simple justice that has been done today.”
In her reaction, the counsel to the ORURU’S family and immediate past Vice-Chairman of International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, Bayelsa State Chapter, Barr(Mrs) Deme Pamosoo, described the judgement as ” just judgement” and commended the judiciary for doing its best to give a good judgement”, adding that it will serve as a deterrent to pedophiles.
The father of the victim, Charles Oruru, said he was very happy that the five-year case had ended in their favour.
He said, “I’m very happy and grateful because I see that all my suffering is not in vain. This case will serve as deterrent to others who traffic people’s children. I thank God that truth has prevailed. I and my family are very happy.”