This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Monday, February 29, 2016
ABDUCTION OF BAYELSA GIRL: ARREST YUNUSA YELLOW NOW!
1st March 2016,
ABDUCTION OF BAYELSA GIRL:
ARREST YUNUSA YELLOW NOW!
The alleged abduction of a Bayelsa girl,
Ese Oruru, from Yenagoa to Kano by one Yunusa Yellow, is currently stirring
controversy in Nigeria. The girl in the eye of the storm is presently in the
protective custody of the Nigeria Police in Kano preparatory to her return to
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) commends the role of the Emir of Kano in the Ese
Oruru affair. The police have also acted very professionally. Nonetheless, we
demand that Yunusa Oruru, the ‘boy friend’ with whom the girl eloped should arrested
Our position is based on the fact that
the girl is a minor. Attempting to marry off the girl without her parent’s
permission is not only a breach of common law but also a violation of the
Shariah provision on the need for the parents’ approval before nikah (Islamic marriage) can be deemed
valid (La nikah bila waliyyin).
Of particular significance in this
regard is the express command in the Glorious Qur’an that women should be
married with the permission of their parents. The Qur’an says inter alia, “ …And marry them (i.e.
women) with the permission of their parents(Qur’an 4:25).
While we are aware that Yunusa Yellow’s
intention was marriage inspired by love and not abduction for pecuniary
benefits, the position of the law is quite different. Although the two lovers
eloped and the girl herself was a consensual participant as confirmed in the
audio clip, the girl’s age as a minor gives her parents every right to reclaim
But the boyfriend cannot go scot free if it is
established that he had had canal knowledge of the girl. In fact, his case is
judiciable both before the Kano Shariah court and the Yenagoa court although
the latter has the stronger jurisdiction. The girl should be properly examined
in the hospital in Kano today before being taken to Yenagoa.
fact that Yunusa is a Muslim cannot becloud our sense of justice. The Qur’an
commands Muslims to “…Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses of Allah, even
if the case is against yourselves, or your parents, or your family, and whether
it is against a rich or poor man…” (Qur’an 4:135).
cannot afford to be partisan. A fellow Muslim, Yunusa, has violated the law and
caused a Christian family to go through a traumatic period. Unless it can be proved
that the girl came to Kano separately and alone, not in the company of Yunusa,
the latter stands culpable. He should therefore be handed over to the Yenagoa
authorities with immediate effect. This must be done in order to serve as
deterrent since this type of behaviour is capable of igniting anti-Muslim
However, MURIC wishes to make a clear
distinction between this case and those involving Muslim families alone,
regardless of the age of the girl. The sensationalisation of intra-Muslim
marriages to minors is uncalled for and, more often than not, done with hidden
malice. What happens among Muslims is strictly a Muslim affair and should
remain so as long as it is Shariah-compliant.
The issue of Ese Oruru’s conversion does not
even arise. She is deemed to be an adherent of her parents’ religion until she
attains maturity. Section 38 (ii) of the Contitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria 1999 stresses the right of parents on their children in matters of
religion. The purported conversion is therefore null and void and of no consequence
whatsoever. Ese Oruru cannot be free to choose her own faith until she is 18.
MURIC is not in any way excited by the girl’s purported
conversion for lack of due process. There must be no overzealousness in matters
concerning conversion to Islam. Just as Qur’an 2:256 affirms that there must be
no compulsion in religion, in the same manner, Muslims must not exhibit
excessive enthusiasm to win converts.
The Emir of Kano, His Eminence Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi,
displayed immense understanding of the issues at stake and acted like a
responsible leader and a knowledgeable Muslim by ordering that the girl should be
returned to her family.
We are on the same page with the Emir and we
believe that the matter should have ended there. As far as we are concerned
therefore, the girl is still a Christian. We wish her journey mercies back to
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)