14-year-old Wasila Tasi'u faces a death sentence for allegedly murdering her 35-year-old husband and three others in the Muslim-dominated region of northern Nigeria.

Wasila is among the thousands of child brides in the region, who was married to a much older Umar Sani and is now on trial after the latter died from eating food laced with rat poison in April, which she is accused of mixing in the food.

Three other people also reportedly died after eating the food, and the prosecution is seeking a death sentence for the young girl.

Wasila's father is now appealing to a Nigerian court to not award a death sentence to his daughter, Associated Press reported.

"We are appealing to the judge to consider Wasila's plea," Isyaku Tasi'u, Wasila's father, told the Associated Press on Thursday.

According to witnesses' statement in the Gezawa high court, the girl mixed rat poison in the food that she had prepared only two weeks after being married to Sani in April.

Among the witnesses was a seven-year-old girl, the sister of Sani's previous wife, who said that Wasila had sent her to buy rat poison on 5 April citing trouble from the rodents in the house.

Women's rights activists highlighted the common practice of child marriage and abuse in the region.

"She was married to a man that she didn't love. She protested but her parents forced her to marry him," Zubeida Nagee, a women's rights activist in Kano, told AP.

If Wasila is taken to the gallows, she will be the first juvenile offender in the country to be executed since 1997.

Judge Mohammed Yahaya has rejected the defence's request for the case to be transferred to a juvenile court, AFP reported.