Three teenage girls, who were reportedly abducted in Bauchi State and forcefully converted to Islam, have been rescued by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF.
The state Commissioner of Police, CP, Mr. Baba Tijjani, on Tuesday, confirmed the release of the girls.
He said, “The girls Progress Jacob, Linda Christopher and Blessing Gopep have been released.
“They were not held by the Bauchi State Shari’ah Commission; they volunteered to become Muslims on their own and reported themselves to the Da’awah & Islamic Education Department, which took them to the Bauchi State Shari’ah Commission.
“Progress Jacob and Linda Christopher have been released to their parents while Blessing Gopep’s parents have been told to come tomorrow (Wednesday) and they will go home with their daughter,” the CP told Newsmen
Tijani said the girls were handed over to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 12, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin, on Tuesday, by the Shari’ah Commission in the state before releasing them to their parents.
The CP, when asked if the case would be treated as a criminal case and the culprits prosecuted, said “We just released the girls to their parents.
“The investigations are still ongoing and we will come out with the details after the investigations,” he stated.
According to the report, Linda Christopher, 16, was abducted in Bauchi state by one Mallam Shagari in Tarsha Durumi village, on November 19, 2015.
Linda lived with her parents in the Katanga Giwa village of the state only on holidays. The 16-year-old teenager was a secondary school pupil in Enugu state.
She had left Enugu 4 days earlier to join her parents.
When she was discovered missing, an unnamed kinsman, who knew the family, reportedly informed her parents of her whereabouts after he claimed to have seen her with her abductor, Mallam Shagari.
Thirteen year-old Progress Jacob was reportedly abducted in the state as well, by one Mallam Musa in the Yelwa, Sabon Kaura area, on her way back from church on January 3, 2016.
Progress’ aunt, Miss Gobet, disclosed that her niece went to church on the morning of January 3, 2016 and did not return when the church was presumed to have closed at about 10.30am.
She was allegedly abducted by the said Mallam Musa on her way back from church, which is said to be a few metres away from her aunt’s residence.
Following her disappearance, Miss Gobet said she reported the case to the traditional ruler (Seriki) of Sabon Kaura as well as the Yelwa Police Station, which only took her statement and directed her to inform them when she found Progress.
According to her, all efforts to locate the missing girl proved abortive until a letter was allegedly delivered to her from the Bauchi State Shari’ah Commission, informing her of Progress’ conversion to Islam.
Meanwhile, the third victim, Blessing Gopep, aged 13, was abducted by two men identified as only Iliya and Umaru, both living in Alkaleri, Bauchi State.
Reports say Blessing and her friend, one Mary, were on their way back to Jos after spending their holidays with Blessing’s uncle in Bauchi in August, 2015.
According to Blessing’s father, Blessing and Mary had gone to the Alkaleri motor park, and while they waited on the bus for other passengers, two men, identified as Iliya and Umaru, arrived at the park on a motorcycle and abducted Blessing.
As the story goes, her parents allegedly got a letter from the Shari’a Commission, notifying them of their daughter’s custody and her conversion to Islam, just like they (the commission) did the Jacob’s.