The marriage of a 47-year-old Zamfara man, Alhaji Musa Tsafe, with his granddaughter, Hajiya Wasila Isah, in Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State has been in turmoil in recent.
Daily Trust reports that Alhaji Musa married the granddaughter of his elder brother 23 years ago and they are blessed with eight children.
But the legitimacy of the marriage was opposed by Islamic law because Musa is the blood younger brother of his wife’s grandfather.
The Shura Council of the local council asserted that Alhaji Musa Tsafe, being of the same parent as his wife’s grandfather is not permitted to marry her as ruled by Islamic law, therefore, the council affirmed the marriage between them as unlawful.
Speaking to Daily Trust, a family source said that the marriage was contracted in 1999. The source also added that the couples eloped.
“After some time, the marriage ceremony was hurriedly arranged by the family probably without taking into cognisance its Islamic implications. Shortly after the wedding, the couple moved to Buruku in Kaduna State and they stayed there for several years and gave birth to most of their children before they returned to Tsafe again owing to the growing insecurity.
“Even before the wedding, some of the family members, especially the grandmother of the wife, raised some observations about the legality of the marriage according to Islamic Sharia, but were ignored by the husband, wife and all those who participated in the matter.
“In fact, at one point, Alhaji Musa was becoming angry whenever he was reminded about the problem. It is not that the case was just raised only recently. The issue was raised in 2019, but was ignored by the family,” the source added.
Tsafe Emirate Council was notified after ascertaining the indifference of the couples on the matter and the council tabled the issue to the local government’s Shura Council.
After deliberating the matter thoroughly through the provisions of the Holy Qur’an and other books of Islamic Jurisprudence, the Shura Council commended that the marriage should be nullified.
On the legitimacy of the children between Musa and his wife, the council confirmed that they were legitimate saying the couple had married out of ignorance and that would not affect the legitimacy of the children and they are also entitled to inheritance.
The council further recommended that the husband should divorce the wife and should do that discreetly so that even their neighbors should not be aware.
Considering the financial capability of the husband, the council added that the husband may issue out part of this wealth to the wife.
The Shura Council convened the couple and informed them of their stand and the husband promised to consider the recommendations with a view to accepting them.
“In fact, Alhaji Musa had handed over a house worth N10 million to his wife, Hajiya Wasila Isah, as part of the move for them to separate. Suddenly, he got a summons from a higher sharia court that he has been sued over the matter. This is what truncated his willingness to divorce the wife,” said his close friend, Ahmed Alfa.
However, some residents divulged to Daily Trust that Alhaji Musa abstained from terminating the marriage following opinions from individuals who said that the Izala movement and the Hisbah commission were only adamant about ending his marriage.
“Since then he refused to adopt the recommendations of the local government Shura Council insisting that the union is legitimate despite the fact that the matter was taken before Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi who reaffirmed the earlier position of the local government Shura Council.
“We have done our part and we have passed our recommendations to the Emirate Council and those saying that it was a plan to introduce Izala doctrine into the matter should understand that we are talking about sharia “ not”Aqida “.
“Before we came up with our stand, we also consulted a number of Ulama from various places and we have quoted the Holy Qur’an and various acceptable books of Islamic Jurisprudence,” the chairman of the Shura Council, Sheikh Habib Liman Tsafe said.
Wikki Times further learnt that the Hisbah commission took the case to sharia court.
According to the chairman of the Hizbah commission in the local government, Lawal Muhammad Dankamfani: “The case was taken to sharia court after the husband refused to end the union and the Hizbah want the court to dissolve the marriage because it is against the Islamic injunctions,”
He added that they delayed to see whether the husband would conform to the recommendation of the Ulama but he refused.
However, another source at the court told Daily Trust that the couples refused to appear in court despite court summons.
“The judge identified as Bashir Mahe ordered the wife to vacate her matrimonial home and move to her father’s house pending the determination of the case by the court. But the wife refused to move out of her husband’s house and a case of contempt of court was instituted against her.
“The judge ordered for her arrest but when we went to the house to carry out the court order, her family members wielding machetes and pestles chased us away. They resisted every attempt to arrest her. In fact, they aided her escape.
“Since then, her whereabouts are still unknown and even her husband is not coming to the court but would always send his lawyer,” the source added.
Barr Sani Muhammad at the Thursday’s court proceedings had appealed to the court to break up the union after he made references to verses from the Holy Qur’an and read out the genealogy of the family to the court.
The defense counsel, Barrister Abubakar Ayuba, however, said he should be given time to consider the investigation carried out by the Hisbah commission even as he challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the case.
Moreover, he added that the Hisbah commission possessed no legal right to forward the case to the court going by the laws that established the commission.
The prosecuting counsel objected to this and the judge adjourned the case until July 25, 2022.