Sadiya Amos, aged 17, went missing from north central Kaduna in northern Nigeria in January. Two days later some men came to force her father Amos Chindo to attend a Sharia court without telling him what offence he had committed or even allowing him to tell his family where he was going.

A self-proclaimed lawyer, together with the Sharia judge, threatened that Chindo was preventing his daughter Sadiya from converting to Islam. The said ‘lawyer’, with the judge, had forged a birth certificate to raise Sadiya’s age from 17 to 19 years old to support their claim. The ‘lawyer’ – who claimed to speak for Sadiya – refused the father access to her, or even to know her where she was. They then adjourned the trial a week.

The Anglican Bishop who leads the church that the Chindo family attends sent priests that day to tell the court that – since both Sadiya and her parents are Christians – the Sharia court has no official jurisdiction over the family.

The judge didn’t even give the priests the chance to speak, nor Sadiya’s parents. Instead, the Sharia judge read his pre-determined judgment and closed the case – without Sadiya even present in court.

Sadiya says she was abducted, kept in a locked room for over a month and forced to convert to Islam; some men guarded her room so she couldn’t escape. But one day, they all fell asleep leaving the door open; she quickly ran out and back to her parents.

As World Watch Monitor has reported, the Hausa Christian Foundation (HACFO) has rescued a number of girls from similar circumstances over the past three years, from across northern Nigeria.

World Watch Monitor