A pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Raymond Uzoechina has called on security agencies to investigate activities at the palace of the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, to ensure that many people there had not been forced to convert to Islam and held against their will.
This came as the pastor claimed his daughter, Miss Charity Uzoechina had been forced to convert to Islam.
“Apart from my daughter, there are so many people at the palace. There is need for the police to investigate and ensure that the people are not suffering the fate of my daughter,” Pastor Uzoechina told Vanguard on phone, yesterday.
Charity had left their Abuja home to further her studies at the Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State recently. Reports however said she has not returned home since March, and has allegedly been at the palace of the Etsu Nupe on her own volition, after converting to Islam and changing her name to Aisha.
Pastor Uzoechina wouldn’t hear any of the claims that her daughter willingly converted to Islam. He believes his daughter was kidnapped and hypnotised and could never abandon the Christian faith for Islam.
The Etsu Nupe argued otherwise and produced legal documents where his daughter said she had converted to Islam and alleged that his father could kill her for the action hence the need to seek protection from the Palace and the Sharia Court, which the court granted.
The Etsu Nupe who had promised the lady protection, therefore refused to release her to Uzoechina, citing the sharia court ruling.
The pastor who is appalled by the situation wondered how an Islamic court would judge a Christian.
“They (sharia court) have fixed Thursday, August 1 for ruling on our appeal that they don’t have jurisdiction. You can’t judge a Christian in a Muslim court. I am appealing to them to vacate the judgment because they don’t have jurisdiction.”
Uzoechina described as ridiculous the claim that her daughter was being kept at the Etsu Nupe palace so as to protect her from him. Even if she converted to Islam on her own volition, Uzoechina wondered if that was enough reason for any father to kill his daughter as alleged by the Etsu Nupe.
“That is not true. My daughter cannot make that allegation,” he said. “Why should I kill her? We asked them to bring her to the court so that my lawyer can cross-examine her but they refused.
“If she has converted to Islam, must she practice at the Etsu Nupe’s palace? Is Etsu Nupe the chief security officer now? They should not separate me from my daughter. She has stayed in the palace for six months. If they say I will harm her, let them release her to the Inspector General of Police, leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN or ask me to write an undertaking. Why is my daughter still under Etsu Nupe’s enclave? I am only talking about my daughter; there are so many people at the palace. There is need for the police to investigate and ensure that other people are not suffering the fate of my daughter. They did not allow my wife to see my daughter when she visited the palace.”
The matter is now causing a big row among the Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor-led CAN, the Bida Emirate and the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA.