Relief as Ese Oruru, mother arrive in Bayelsa home
• Security operatives under probe over abduction • ‘Girl kept with Kano Sharia commission’
• Police deny knowledge of pregnancy • Alleged abductor in police custody
SOME minutes before 8:00 p.m. yesterday, the trauma of the family of Charles Oruru was almost over. They received their daughter, Ese, who was allegedly kidnapped by one Yunusa to Kano State. The Bayelsa State Police Commissioner Peter Ogunyanwo confirmed the arrival of Ese and her mother in Bayelsa from Abuja .
However, an assistant inspector general (AIG), commissioner and two superintendents of police are among officers to face a panel of inquiry set up to examine their role in the abduction of the 14-year-old Ese.
The young girl was allegedly abducted by one Yunusa, from her mother’s shop in Yenagoa Local Government of Bayelsa State on August 12, 2015 and taken to Kano State.
The journey home was facilitated by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Solomon Arase who bought three flight tickets for the child-bride, her mother and a female police escort to ensure they are easily transited to Bayelsa State via Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The mother was said to have come to Abuja by road the previous day to reclaim her child. The alleged abductor and other suspects in the saga are being held in police custody in Abuja.
Addressing journalists yesterday morning at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Olabisi Kolawole, flanked on her left by the mother of the abducted girl, Mrs. Rose Oruru, said Ese’s abduction was reported since August last year, but police investigation into the matter towards effecting her release to her parents seemed compromised and was rather slack and below expectation due to what she called “some bureaucratic and complex intertwining factors” before the intervention of the police leadership.
She declared that consequently, the IGP had “ordered an in-house administrative enquiry designed to review the professional conduct of the officers responsible for the initial investigation of the case. Any officer indicted for professional dereliction will be firmly dealt with, accordingly.”
Explaining the police side of the story from the time it was first reported in Ekiki Police station in Yenagoa last year, Kolawole said a follow-up on information obtained from other suspected collaborators revealed that the girl was in the custody of the Kano State Sharia Commission, from where the Zone 1 AIG, commissioner of police, divisional police officer in Kura Local Government and other officers failed, despite supposed civil efforts within these months, to secure her release.
The leadership of the police was said to have condemned the seeming negligence or ineptitude on the side of the Kano Command and did not find it convincing that its officers could not facilitate the release of the allegedly abducted girl until the IGP had to step in, after the case was blown open to become a national issue.
Kolawole also told journalists that the teenage girl would be handed over to her parents as soon as she (Ese) was through with counseling for psychological and emotional stability by the gender and child protection unit, and medical examination by the relevant department.
According to her, the suspected girl-child abductor, Yunusa Dahiru (alias Yellow) is already taken into custody by the police and would face criminal prosecution along with all the collaborators. “I can assure you that the abductor and all other actors in this abduction saga will be brought to deserved justice. This is the only way this nation can make a clear statement in unison that any individual that violates the sanctity of the rights of our children shall be dealt with.”
The FPRO explained that due to respect for the privacy of the teenager and other protective rights of the girl and her family, she must not be exposed, thence the decision to shield her from camera and prying eyes.
Although the police spokesperson declined to answer questions from journalists, she allowed the mother to say something. Mrs. Oruru, speaking in Pidgin English, common among Nigerians in the Niger Delta region, said: “I thank all of you, the press people, all the Nigerian people in short, just work hard so that I can get my daughter back. Now I don get my daughter back, na to go house. I thank everybody, including the policemen, everybody wen e work so, now I don carry my pikin, I will go with am. God bless everybody.”
The trio of Mrs. Oruru, Ese and a female police officer, who has been detailed to be by the side of the mother, had slept the previous night in an undisclosed hotel in Abuja.
When confronted later, after the briefing, with rumour of the girl being pregnant, Kolawole denied knowledge of Ese’s status in that regard, saying “I don’t know about that, who ever reported that knows where they got the information from.”
However, it was apparent something was amiss with Ese when she arrived at the Force Headquarters on Tuesday afternoon, as she wore her hijab, folding her hands around the abdomen as if she was concealing a budge.
Yesterday, she was not allowed to show her face, as even the mother was ushered into the small conference room on the 4th Floor of Louis Edet House through the fire escape back door.
A source told The Guardian that “she is actually pregnant, but you know it is too sensitive for that information to go out now. Certain aspects of her rights must be protected, so the information is classified for now.
“That was one of the first tests that were conducted, but you know the results cannot be immediately revealed because she’s a teenager, her parents are expected to make decisions and speak for her. It is now their responsibility, the police have done their part,” the source said.
Kolawole had said “a team from the medical department of the force is also extending medical attention to the girl and upon certifying her medical status and emotional state,” she would be released to her parents. The police medical team checked the teenage girl as directed by the IGP.