By Sampson Boroh
A Federal High Court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, has sentenced Yunusa Dahiru, the famous alleged abductor of teenage Ese Oruru, to 26 years imprisonment.
Justice Jane Inyang gave the ruling on Thursday saying that the convict who hails from Kano State was guilty of child trafficking, illicit sex, sexual exploitation and unlawful carnal knowledge.
Yunusa also known as Yellow reportedly abducted Ese in 2015 from her home in Bayelsa to Kano State where she was allegedly forcefully married and impregnated by the convict.
The court held that the sentences should run consecutively, meaning Yunusa will spend 26 years in jail unless the judgement is reversed by appellate court.
Justice Inyang, however, exonerated the convict of count one which accused him of forceful abduction.
The convict was arraigned on five count-charge which read, “That you, Yunusa Dahiru, a male, resident in Opolo-Eipie area of Yenagoa in Bayelsa State, conspired with the duo of Dankano Mohammed and Mallam Alhassan, between August 2015 and February, 2016, to commit an offence of abduction and thereby committed offence punishable under section 27(a) of the Trafficking in Persons (prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.”
“That you, Yunusa Dahiru, abducted Ese Oruru by means of coercion, transported and harbored her in Kano State and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 13(2)(b) of the Trafficking in Persons (prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.”
“That you, Yunusa Dahiru, induced Ese Oruru by the use of deception and coercion to go with you from Yenagoa to Kano State with intent that she be forced or seduced into illicit intercourse and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 15(a) of the Trafficking in Persons (prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.”
Count four: “That you, Yunusa Dahiru, procured Ese Oruru and subjected her to sexual exploitation in Kano State and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 16(1) of the Trafficking in Persons (prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.”
“That you, Yinusa Dahiru, had unlawful carnal knowledge of Ese Oruru without her consent and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 357 of the criminal code Act and punishable under section 358 of the Criminal code ACT, Cap. C.38 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”
Delivering her judgment, on the suit numbered No FHC/YNG/17c/2016 on Thursday, Justice Jane Inyang, sentenced Yunusa to five years in prison for count 2, seven years in prison for count 3,4 and 5 respectively, noting that the terms be served consecutively.
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”.
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.
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.”