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Police arrest kidnapper who 'forced girl, 14 into marriage'


A NIGERIAN 14-year-old girl who was allegedly abducted and forced to convert to Islam before marrying her kidnapper, has been reunited with her family.

Police are to charge 18-year-old Yinusa who is accused of abducting schoolgirl Ese Oruru girl who he allegedly forced into marriage.

A social media campaign with around 50,000 tweets using the hashtag #FreeEse prompted Sunday's search for her after she went missing in August.

The man denies taking Ese against her will and forcing her to convert to Islam before the wedding.

From Bayelsa, she is said to have been moved to the city of Kano, some 900km (600 miles) away from her home.

The family say they made several efforts to bring Ese back from Kano, but were told she was no longer their daughter.

The alleged abductor of the girl was a long-standing customer of Ese's mother, who is a food vendor, the BBC reported.

The marriage was reported to have taken place at the palace of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, an influential Muslim leader in Nigeria, which he has denied.
The Emir said the girl was brought to his palace after her alleged conversion to Islam but he said she was too young.

"We asked that if he really wants her, he should wait for her until she turns 18 and then if she still wants him they can get married. No-one will stand in the way," Mr Sanusi said in a statement.

Ese and the man were sent to the police by the Emir as he said she should be returned to Bayelsa state because of her age.

However, this was not acted upon.

Though reunited with her mother, Nigeria's Premium Times newspaper has reported that Ese said she wants to remain in Kano.

She told police she was not forced to convert to Islam, it reports.

According to a "very reliable source", it has been discovered that Ese is about five months pregnant, Vanguard reported. This has yet to be confirmed.

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