Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
It was justice at last for Ese Oruru, the 13-year-old girl who was abducted on August 12, 2015, by Yunusa Dahiru (aka ‘Yellow’) as a Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa convicted and sentenced him to 26 years in jail.
Ese’s abduction had sparked national outrage as Nigerians joined civil society and women groups to demand her rescue from captivity in Kano and the prosecution of her abductors.
A crack police team sent by the former Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, later rescued Ese and arrested Dahiru in February 2016, and in March 2016 he was subsequently arraigned on a five-count charge of abduction, human trafficking, illicit intercourse, sexual exploitation and unlawful carnal knowledge.
Ese was already six months pregnant when she was rescued.
Justice Jane Inyang who inherited the case from Justice Hyeladzira Ejiya Nganjiwa in her judgment discharged and acquitted Dahiru of count one.
She, however, convicted him on count two, three, four and five and sentenced him to five, seven, seven and seven years, respectively, with the sentence to run consecutively.
Mr Charles Oruru, the father of Ese, in an interview, expressed joy that justice has been served for the crime committed against his daughter and the family.
He commended the activism by NGOs led by KHAN, the International Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA), the media and the judiciary for standing by the family.
Mr Oruru, who disclosed that his wife and children had to relocate to the village in Delta State, appealed to the Bayelsa and Delta State Governments to fulfil the promises they made to the family in 2016, especially in regard to a scholarship for Ese’s education.
Mr Kizito Andah, Executive Director of KHAN, which commenced the demand for Ese’s rescue and the prosecution of those involved in her abduction, in an interview commended the judiciary and the media for the judgment.
Dahiru’s defence counsel Mr Kayode Olaosebikan heaved a sigh of relief that the case had finally come to an end after four years, expressing disappointment that his client was jailed.
He suggested that steps would commence to file an appeal.