A Kano High Court on Wednesday fixed April 12 and 14 for continuation of hearing in the ongoing trial of a school Proprietor, Abdulmalik Tanko, over alleged murder of a five-year-old pupil, Hanifa Abubakar.
Tanko, 34, alongside Hashimu Isyaku, 37 and Fatima Musa, 26, all residents of Tudun Murtala Quarters, Kano, are standing trial on a five-count charge of criminal conspiracy, attempt to kidnap, abetment, kidnapping and concealing dead body.
The offences are said to have contravened Sections 97, 95 and 273, 274(b) and 277 of the Penal Code, Laws of Kano State, 1991.
At the resumed sitting, the Prosecution Counsel and Director Public Prosecution, Kano State, Rabi Shehu-Ahmad, presented the late Hanifa’s mother, Murja Suleiman, 38, as the eighth witness and tendered 17 text messages as exhibits.
Murja, in her testimony, told the court that she was the biological mother of Hanifa, adding that her daughter attended the first defendant’s school, Noble Kids Comprehensive College.
She said: “On December 4, 2021, at about 8am, I took the late Hanifa to Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi Islamiyya School and the school normally closes at 5:30pm.
“Our neighbour’s daughter, Maryam Abubakar, after closing from Islamiyya School, ran to the house and informed me that a tricyclist had gone with Hanifa, who, she said Hanifa called her uncle.”
Murja further told the court that on January 2, she received a call that the victim was with them and demanded for N6 million ransom.
She said: “After 28 days of Hanifa’s abduction, I saw a black leather in front of my house containing her cardigan, school badge and her printed black and white picture.”
The Principal Witness 8 also told the court that the first defendant told her that he committed the offence alone due to his financial situation.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the PW8 betrayed emotion while testifying before the court.
The Defence Counsel, M.L. Usman, told the court that he was not ready for cross-examination and asked for an adjournment to enable them prepare.
“We need to be served with all the documents in the ongoing trial to enable us study them, because it is a capital offence,” Usman said.
Justice Usman Na’abba then ordered the prosecution to serve the defence with all the documents for them to study.
Na’abba thereafter adjourned the matter till April 12 and 14 for cross-examination and continuation of hearing.
NAN reports that Tanko, the proprietor of Nobel Kids Comprehensive College, Kano, had, on December 4, 2021, allegedly kidnapped the victim and held her hostage in his house at Tudun Murtala for days before killing her with rat poison.