NIGERIA – Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has called for speedy trial of a pastor in Kaduna, Jonah Gangers.
The cleric is accused of “stealing” a Muslim girl, Sadiya Idris. The case is already in court.
On Friday, MURIC director, Ishaq Akintola, in a statement, said Sadiya of Tudun Nupawa in Kaduna, was allegedly kidnapped in 2013 by Gangers who lived in Barakallahu, Kaduna, and has his church there.
The defendant was purportedly aided by a citizen identified as Peter.
Akintola noted that Sadiya was kept against her wish in Gangers’s house until the suspects moved her.
He recalled that the victim’s parents searched everywhere in vain for their missing daughter and then lodged the matter at Gidan Gayu Police Divisional Headquarters in Tudun Wada, Kaduna.
“Rev. Gangers and his accomplices took Sadiya to Plateau State, forcefully and illegally converted her and finally registered her as Christiana Gangers Joseph in a missionary school in the state. The girl was kept in captivity for seven years (2013 – 2020) both in school and also in the reverend’s house in Kaduna during the holidays as she was not allowed to step out alone.
“Sadiya Idris (Christiana Gangers) eventually escaped in 2020 on a day she was sent to the market alone. She remembered her original background and approached Muslims in a mosque in Jos who took her to Kaduna where she guided them to her father’s house. Although Rev. Gangers was arrested, he was granted bail and he is freely roaming the streets of Kaduna.
“The case was adjourned by the Magistrate Court I on the first hearing to 18th September, 2020. Again it was adjourned to 16th October, 2020. But the judge ruled on 16th October that the Magistrate Court had no jurisdiction on the matter. He, therefore, referred it to the Kaduna State Ministry of Justice for advice. We expected the matter to go to the High Court at that juncture but to our surprise it was referred back to the Magistrate Court where a new date of 23rd November, 2020 has just been given.”
MURIC decried the “ding-dong affair”, warning that procrastination is the thief of time and that justice delayed is justice denied.
The Islamic organization accused Gangers of abusing the terms of his bail and attempting to subvert the law.
The statement demanded that Gangers be re-arrested in order to get details of his accomplices from him.
Akinola insisted that those implicated be prosecuted along with the main suspect.
MURIC called Gangers’s claim that Sadiya was lost and he found her a “cock and bull story”, wondering why he did not report to the police or go to an orphanage.
Akintola warned that a dangerous game was playing out in the North, adding that Muslim children are being targeted by Christians who kidnap and take them to distant lands.