Four people have been confirmed dead after eating a poisonous food in Kano State North West Nigeria.
Addressing a news conference, the Police Public Relations Officer, Magaji Musa Majiya, said that the suspect, Wasila Umar, had confessed to have poisoned her husband’s food in which fourteen people were affected.
Wasila Umar, a 14 year old minor was made under duress, to marry one Umar Sani, a 35 year old man who also had one wife and two children.
Two weeks after the wedding, Wasilla’s plan to get rid of her husband materialized when she mixed rodenticide with the husband’s food which was eaten by fourteen people, leaving three, including the husband dead on the spot.
Early marriage mixed with compulsory weddings is very common in most parts of northern Nigeria especially in far remote communities where social learning facilities are either inadequate or completely absent.
In the case of Wasila, she claimed that when she repeatedly told her parents that she was not in love with the man, the wedding was still made to go ahead and that the only way for her to have a balanced life was to do away with her husband. The teenager told Police she bought rat poison at a village market and used it to prepare a dish of rice.
“I told them I don’t like the man but instead for them to consider me, they kept on beating me every day so as to justify to me getting married to him. In the end they succeeded and I had to kill him because I don’t love him”, she said.
Wasila’s father, however, denied giving out his daughter against her wish. Umar said that Wasila brought in three people among which he chose one whom she killed.
“I did not force her into marrying him, she brought in three people for me and I had to make a choice”, he claimed.
Although Wasila is in Police custody, it is expected that there would be no case to build against her by virtue of being a minor. This, however, is subject to the judge’s interpretation of the case, as Wasila or her parents could still be jailed for life.
Ten others who ate the poisoned food have been treated and discharged from the hospital, while the remaining four including the husband were buried in accordance with Islamic principles.
It has been said that in ideal Islamic wedding arrangements, Wasila is not due for marriage since she is less than 18 years, as Islam strongly condemns compulsory marriage.