Justice Usman Na’abba of Kano High Court on Wednesday held that school proprietor Abdulmalik Tanko’s confessional statement admitting to the murder of a five-year-old girl, Hanatu Abubakar, was taken voluntarily without threat or torture.
Tanko, 34, is charged alongside Hashimu Isyaku, 37, and Fatima Musa, 26, for the murder of Abubakar, his student.
They are charged with five counts of criminal conspiracy, attempt to kidnap, abetment/kidnapping and concealment of a corpse.
Justice Na’abba ruled that the prosecution counsel has proven his case based on the evidence given by PW1 and PW2.
He held: “The prosecution said that the confessional statements of the defendants were recorded in a detective room, good atmosphere and presence of colleagues.
“The defence counsel did not provide sufficient proof to the court that the defendants were tortured and did not voluntarily wrote the statement.
“The confessional statements of the defendants is here by marked as exhibit 11, 12 and 13.”
Justice Na’abba adjourned the matter until March 22 for continuation of hearing.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that during the trial-within-trial, the defence counsel told the court that the statements of Tanko and Fatima were taken under threat and compulsion, urging the court to discountenance the statement.
The prosecution counsel who is the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of Kano State, Malam Musa Lawan, presented two investigation officers to tender the defendants’ confessional statements before the court.
PW6 ASP Rilwanu Ibrahim and PW7 Inspector Muhammad Yampa in their testimony told the court that the defendants gave their confessional statements in a detective room with light and a their colleagues were present.
“The defendants were not threatened and they cooperated with the police by telling us how Tanko kidnapped Hanifa and how they were involved in the case,” he said.
The defence counsel, Malam M. L. Usman, during cross-examination, asked the investigative officer if the second and third defendants were lured into committing the offence.
NAN reports that Tanko, being the proprietor of Nobel Kids Comprehensive College, Kano, had on December 4, 2021 kidnapped, held the minor hostage in his house situated at Tudun Murtala for days and killed her with a poison.
In the process, the second defendant buried her in a shallow grave on the premises of Northwest Preparatory School situated at Kwanar Yan Ghana Tudun Murtala, Kano and Fatima wrote a letter demanding for ransom.
According to the prosecutor, the offence contravened section 97, 95 and 273,274(b) and 277 of the Penal Code Laws of Kano State 1991.
Seven witnesses have so far testified during the trial on behalf of the state.