After marrying a child against her will, a man tied the girl up to a bed and brutally raped her. However, as soon as she got loose, she made him regret his sadistic deeds.
Along with economic struggles, Nigeria’s citizens suffer some of the worst human rights violations imaginable. One such abuse is the forced marriage of young girls, often times to much older men whom they’ve never met. For these young brides, their childhoods are cut short by horrendous sexual abuse, child rearing, and severe poverty, all of which can prove fatal.
When 14-year-old Nigerian child bride Wasila Tasi’u was handed over by her parents to a man more than twice her age, she was expectedly devastated. Ripped from her opportunity for an education, Wasila was forced to marry 35-year-old Umar Sani. Unfortunately for her new husband, the girl was willing to escape the union by any means necessary.
Immediately following the marriage ceremony, Umar legally took Wasila to his bedroom to consummate their union. Seeing that the girl was unwilling to engage with him, Umar tied her to the bed and brutally raped until morning, according to the Guardian. Once she was free from her bonds, the teen began concocting a plan to ensure that her rapist husband would never touch her again.
Just two weeks after her wedding, Wasila was called in to prepare the plates of her husband and several other dinner guests for a celebration. Seizing her chance, the child bride laced their food with rat poison, forcing her husband and three of his companions to suffer an excruciating death for celebrating her marriage, according to the Daily Mail. In fact, Umar’s first wife Ramatu testified that she later saw her husband foaming at the mouth and writhing on the floor.
Shopkeeper Abuwa Yusuf confirmed selling poison to the girl, and neighbour Abdulrahim Ibrahim said, “When [Sani] brought the food I noticed some sandy-like particles, black in colour.”
The neighbour ate four of the small balls made of bean paste but “was not comfortable with the taste,” he said, adding, “It was only Umar (Sani) who continued eating.”
Wasila reportedly admitted murdering her husband by adding her thumbprint to a typed confession, which she could not read. The four deaths were combined into a single murder charge and prosecutors began pursuing the death penalty for the teen girl.
In a shocking turn of events, Wasila’s murder charge was dropped and the case was dismissed by the judge. The girl then went to live with a foster family, which was initiated by the Isa Wali Empowerment Foundation. Her parents, however, remain unapologetic about their initial decision to marry her off, arguing that it is a normal custom.
In Nigeria, 14 is a typical age for a bride, especially in the northern part of the country where Sharia law is implemented. In fact, nearly two-fifths of children under the age of 18 are married. Roughly 16 percent are married before the age of 15. Polygamy is also commonplace, which has contributed to the widespread poverty.
Fortunately, Wasila’s case quickly gained the attention of international human rights campaigners, who insist that she is a victim of abuse, leading to the case’s dismissal. Wasila’s suffering has raised concerns over the treatment of children and women in Nigeria, providing a glimmer of hope for those still forced into marriages to this day.