Abuja - A teenage girl from Zaria is alleged to have been abducted in September of 2014 and converted to Islam, married off and held against her will for a year and a half, Naij has reported.
The girl, Ifeoma Nicodemus (15), is said to have denied the news of her marriage to police, instead claiming that her relationship with her abductor, identified as Shehu Abdullahi, is father-daughter like.
According to a Naij report, Ifeoma's father, Nicodemus Odugusi, relayed how he was sent into a panic at the discovery that his daughter had gone missing from the Total Child Bible Secondary School in Samaru, Zaria.
Odugusi disclosed how he was informed that his daughter had converted to Islam and gotten married, saying that he has been making attempts to return her home for the past 18 months.
The girl's alleged abductor has denied claims that he admitted to converting Ifeoma to Islam and marrying her, instead revealing that he already has a wife and that he therefore couldn't have married her.
According to Abdullahi, Ifeoma approached a Shari'ah court of her own free will, requesting that she be converted, whereupon he was ordered to take custody of her.
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Ifeoma, who says that she now goes by the name of Aisha, has claimed that she is 19 years of age, not 15, and that she is not married to Abdullahi but someone else.
“I’m married now, not to Mallam Shehu but to someone else. My parents are aware, and my sister recently came to my house. I just don’t wan’t to go home because I can’t live with my parent anymore. My name now is Aisha, and that’s what you should call me,” she is quoted as saying.
According to a Divisional Police Officer in Samaru who spoke on condition of anonymity, issues in the case have all stemmed from Ifeoma, who is alleged to have remained extremely stubborn following threats made by her father saying that she would not be allowed to practice Islam in his house.
“She converted herself to Islam, and then refused to return home. We intervened here, the commissioner of police intervened, and three times she ran away from her parents. The court then handed her over to Mallam Shehu and co. for custody," the police official stated.
The development marks the latest in a string of alleged kidnappings and forced marriages following the rescue of Ese Oruru, a 14-year-old girl who was alleged to have been kidnapped in Bayelsa State in August of last year.
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