Nigerian Hisbah Board Forbids Marriage of 13-Year-Old to Alleged Rapist

| by Kendal Mitchell

Nigeria's Kano State Hisbah Board canceled a father’s attempt to make his 13-year-old daughter marry a man who allegedly raped her in December.

Members of the Ungogo local government in Kano State, a state in northwestern Nigeria, arrested Usaini Ja’afar and three other men after they were found naked in an unfinished building in the village of Tudun Rubudi after they allegedly gang-raped the teenage girl.

Kano State Hisdah Board officials, a group established in 2003 to promote the course of Islam in the state, said while police interrogated Ja’afar, he pledged to marry the teenager and begged her father, Malam Ya’u, to forgive him.

Before the Hisbah Board stepped in to stop the marriage, Malam Ya'u, a mechanic, granted the request of Ja’afar after he showed remorse for his crime.

“When all of them showed remorse, especially the one pleading to marry her, Ja’afar, I decided to temper justice with mercy,” Malam Ya'u told the Weekly Trust.

Malam Ya'u said he agreed to let Ja’afar marry his daughter because he discussed the matter with local malams, Islamic clerics, and heard the pleas of Ja’afar’s family. He said these factors influenced him to allow the marriage and both parties set a date for the wedding. 

While Malam Ya'u gave his consent for Ja’afar to marry his daughter, officials at the Kano State Hisbah Board, condemned the marriage and canceled it until further notice, said Director General of Kano State Hisbah Board Malam Abba Sai’id Sufi.

“It is not only about the father and his daughter; it is a rape case, which is an offense in Islam,” Sufi said.

Sufi added he thinks the Hisbah Board cannot allow this marriage to go forward because it goes against Islamic beliefs.

“We cannot allow somebody to rape a 13-year-old girl and then marry her just like that; it is unfair. Investigation into the matter is still ongoing," he said.

Sources: Daily TrustPulse Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons