Home Human Rights Prof Tarfa, Kano State govt, to settle custody of 16 Christian orphaned children out of court
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Prof Tarfa, Kano State govt, to settle custody of 16 Christian orphaned children out of court

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Du Merci

A Kano State High Court has asked the management of Du Merci orphanage and the state government to settle out of court the ongoing battle for the 16 Christian children from the orphanage who are allegedly forced to convert to Islam in the government’s custody. 

The presiding judge said he had more important cases to deal with and gave the Director of the home, Prof Solomon Tarfa and the state government till June 4, 2024, to settle the matter and get back to him.

The case of Prof Tarfa started in December 2019 when he was arrested by the police from the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP)  for alleged abduction and kidnapping, and 29 children from the orphanage were taken away and placed in government custody. 

According to reports, the children were forced to study Islam, recite Arabic and attend prayers in mosques. Their names were allegedly changed to Muslim names while some siblings were separated. 

Following his arrest and detention on Christmas day of 2019, Prof Tarfa was discharged and acquitted of all charges against him in February last year; however, his children were not reunited with him. Tarfa demanded that Kano State pay reparations for his illegal imprisonment, false accusations, and the illegal confiscation of his children.

A report by International Christian Concern said, “Tarfa has asked Kano State to pay reparations for his illegal imprisonment, false accusations, and the illegal confiscation of his children. The reparations would also cover the costs of rebuilding Du Merci Orphanage, which the government demolished, and the cost of rent for Professor Tarfa, his wife, and the released children, who had to relocate to an apartment.” 

The ICC said it has documents showing that these children continue to face mental and physical abuse, including burns and medical neglect. The recent stretch of the case to June makes it almost five years since the children were taken into government custody and some of their rights forcefully taken away from them by the Kano State government. 

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