Kano high court acquits 14-year old child bride charged with murdering her husband. Wednesday, 10 June 2015 12:09
KANO child bride Wasila Tasiu who was facing murder charges for killing her 35-year old husband through food poisoning in an attempt to escape from the unhappy marriage has been acquitted by a high court.
Wasila, 14, was accused of killing her husband and three others in April last year with rat poison and signed a police confession to that effect. From a poor and conservative Muslim family, she has been charged with murdering her husband, Umar Sani, days after their marriage in Kano State.
State lawyers, who were seeking the death penalty, also called a co-wife, identified as Ramatu to the stand to testify that Wasila indeed killed their husband. However, in a landmark judgment yesterday, Justice Mohammed Yahaya ruled that the court had no option than to comply with the application that originated from the Office of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice that sought to terminate the case.
Consequently, Justice Yahaya declared that Wasila was discharged, which threw the courtroom into wild rapture, as hordes of human rights activists present jubilated. Earlier, the prosecution’s lawyer, Lamido Abba Soron Dinki, tendered an application dated May 20 that was signed by the Kano State attorney general and commissioner for justice, urging the court to discontinue with the high profile murder case which has attracted global attention.
Mr Dinki said: “In the nolle proseque is a delegation of power by the commissioner for justice to me and I hereby submit the notification and the instrument to the court.”
Kano State government officials had asked that the case be dismissed because Wasila was a minor who had been forcibly married. When the case was reported in 2014, it threw a spotlight on the issue of child brides and forced marriages in Nigeria and the Kano State government wanted to avoid further embarrassment.
Wasila's father had forced her to marry the 35-year-old man according to the police. Aware of the dangers this practice presents, the government in Kano State and many other parts of northern Nigeria are trying to stop parents from forcing children into marriages.