By Ola Adeola
Katsina Emirate Council has defended its emir’s – Abdulmumin Kabir Usman – commissioning of a marriage between a 14-year-old girl and one of his aides. The emirate council on Thursday was said to have asked the teenage bride series of questions to ascertain she consented to the marriage.
The questions were asked by one of the emir’s men, the Kaora Katsina, Nuhu Abdulkadir, one of which was whether the marriage was a forced one, to which the teenage bride reportedly answered “no”. The others were whether she was forcefully converted to Islam – answering no – and if she had begun menstruating at the time she met her purported husband, which she reportedly responded ‘yes’.
“The three questions are in line with the dictates of the Islamic religion. Since Isa has voluntarily answered the three questions in our presence, there is no going back on her marriage,” Abdulkadir said before telling the witnesses the liaison was irreversible.
The questioning was necessitated by the visit of the Very Rev. Nelson Ugochukwu, chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, for Katsina State, who has challenged the council on the arranged marriage.
“This girl (Isa) standing before us is 14 years. She is supposed to be in school and not given out in marriage”, the clergy said.
“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.”