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Ese Oruru: Outrage as Buhari’s aide promises to influence conviction of Yunusa Dahiru

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The Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, Bashir Ahmed, is currently being dragged on social media by Nigerians for making a promise to influence the decision of Nigerian court that convicted a rapist.

A Twitter user on Friday called the attention of Mr Ahmed to the case of Yunusa Dahiru, who was convicted for child trafficking and sexual exploitation of Ese Oruru.

POLITICS NIGERIA reported how the Federal High Court in Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State, sentenced Mr Dahiru to 26 years imprisonment for sexually molesting Oruru in 2015 as a 13-year-old girl.

Oruru was reportedly abducted by Dahiru in Bayelsa in 2015 before being taken to Kano State where she was allegedly forcefully married and impregnated by Dahiru.

“Please Bashir, do something about Yunusa Yellow for Allah’s sake, he is wrongly accused and sentenced, the whole matter is manipulated, we need to appeal for him”, a Twitter user, Hammad Yusuf Saleh, asked the presidential aide.

In response, Mr Ahmed said: “My brother, I do not have the power to do anything against the judgment of the court, but I will try to contact those whom I think are capable”, he wrote in Hausa.

Angry Nigerians:

Angered by this development, many Nigerians stormed the social media to condemn Mr Ahmed’s position on the matter. They wondered why an aide to the president would promise to influence the upturning of such unlawful action of Mr Dahiru.

@chosensomto: “If young Bashir Ahmad (20+) confessed that he has access to people who are capable of influencing the judgement of a competent court, we can now see how easy it was for this regime to steal our 2019 mandate at the ballot and also influence the Supreme Court to keep it.

@William_Ukpe: Bashir is Chairman Emeritus, Arewa Twitter Rape Apologists. He knew what he was doing. He did not expect a caught because he was dumb enough to think we don’t understand Hausa. He has said worse, and he will say worse.

https://twitter.com/William_Ukpe/status/1263963634197241857?s=19

@rolandi_teeji: It’s not material whether Bashir knew about the nature of the case or not. What’s material to me, is the fact that he outrightly hinted to us, the manipulation and influence over judicial decision by powerful politicians. This is our democracy out the window and in the thrash.

@PA_Nigeria: According to @BashirAhmaad, he will Contact people he knows have the power to do something against the judgement on Yunusa who is a Kidnapper, Rapist and Child Trafficker. This is a shame considering the position of Bashir unless the person he is contacting is the PRESIDENT.

@Fopara03: A few weeks ago, @BashirAhmaad shamelessly leveraged on his office to encourage a Twitter user to call him if he feels threatened by anyone Today, same Bashir is promising to use the influence of his office to pervert justice to get a rapist off d hook.

@Briticoyemo: In 2015, 14 year old Ese Oruru was kidnapped by Yunusa Dahiru. She was forced to convert to Islam and raped. Yesterday, Dahiru was sentenced to 26 years in prison. Today, Bashir Ahmed, an Assistant to the President, said this in response to a plea for help for Dahiru. :point_down::skin-tone-5:

@Ayemojubar: Another proof that the executive has pocketed the judiciary. If Bashir could have such confidence to say this in public, the judiciary must be a cheap and “buy 1, get 3 free” commodities in the villa. It’s not a coincidence and this is not the first time.

U-turn too late?

Following the backlash from the public, Mr Ahmed reversed his comments and also swallowed his pride as he claimed ignorance of the matter of discourse before making comments.

“I commented on the Yunusa Yellow saga earlier, without knowing and understanding the details of the case. Eloping or rather, kidnapping a minor and forcing her to marry you shouldn’t be taken lightly. A condemnable act!”, Mr Ahmed backtracked.

Despite this, the president’s aide withdrawal came rather too late as many refused to acknowledge his ignorance.

What does the law say about rape?

Rape is a serious crime against the dignity and sexual rights of an individual especially when it involves underage.

Under the Criminal Code of Nigeria (Section 357 & 358), it is defined as “having unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of a false act, or, in case of a married woman, be personating her husband.”It is punishable by imprisonment for life, with or without caning.

Under the Penal Code of Nigeria (Section 282), “A man is said to commit rape who has sexual intercourse with a woman in any of the following circumstances: against her will; without her consent; with her consent, when the consent is obtained by putting her in fear of death.

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