Nigerians are demanding sanctions for those who held 14-year-old Ese Oruru captive for eight months.
Ese was released to the police on Monday, after several Nigerians and the online media inaugurated a campaign to free the minor.
One Yinusa, aka Yellow, had abducted Ese in August 2015, taken her to Kano, had her converted to Islam and forcefully married her.
It took eight months, trips to Kano by her parents, several media campaigns, and outrage among Nigerians to secure her freedom.
Many Nigerians, who were shocked by Ese’s ordeal, have called on the Federal Government to ensure such an incident does not recur by dealing decisively with those that have contravened the country’s laws.
According to Punch reports, the Minister of Women Affairs, Jummai Alhassan, made it clear that laws had been broken, promising to prosecute those involved.
“Our laws are very clear on the case; Ese Oruru is 14 years and as such cannot consent to marriage. Any such union she’s in is illegal,” she said in a tweet.
Alhassan explained that since Ese was a child, her right to freedom of movement was subject to parental control.
“The Act also clearly states that anyone who marries a child is liable to a fine of N500,000 or five years’ imprisonment or both,” she said, adding that her ministry would ensure the full prosecution of anyone found to have contravened the law.
A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, also called for the prosecution of those involved.
She called for an investigation into the incident and publication of findings about why Ese’s release was allowed to linger for so long.
Senator Ben Murray-Bruce had also, while calling on the Inspector-General of Police to free Ese, stressed that the IG must ensure that those involved did not go free.
A member of SKYTREND NEWS on the social media, Anthony Billardo Tosan, wrote, “It is not enough for the emirate to return Ese Oruru home; what about the Mallam that kidnaped and raped her for many days? Can the emirate bring out him out so that he can be prosecuted”
Prominent legal practitioners also called for the prosecution of Yinusa.
The lawyers wanted the police to prosecute Yinusa for abduction and rape.
They also urged the police to arrest and prosecute others mentioned in the abduction mess and policemen involved in the lackadaisical handling of the case.
Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana and Sebastine Hon, told one of our correspondents on Monday that the abductor of the girl and those who helped him had committed a criminal offence.
They called on the police and the governments of Bayelsa and Kano states to prosecute the culprits.
Falana said regardless of the rescue of the girl, Yinusa and his helpers should be prosecuted by the Bayelsa State Government.
Falana said, “I have just got the assurance of the IGP, Mr. Solomon Arase, that Ese has been freed and will be released to her parents tomorrow (Tuesday).
“The abductor and his helpers should be arrested and prosecuted to serve as a lesson to others. We call on the Bayelsa State Government to file charges against the suspects without any further delay.”