The Kano state government on Monday, re-arraigned a school proprietor, Abdulmalik Tanko, 34, before a Kano High Court for alleged murder of five-year-old school pupil, Hanifa Abubakar.
This time, Tanko says he is not guilty of her murder, though he agreed he conspired to have her kidnapped.
Tanko, alongside Hashimu Isyaku, 37 and Fatima Musa, 26, who lives at Tudun Murtala Quarters, Kano, is facing a five-count charge along with the other two accused persons, of criminal conspiracy, attempt to kidnap, abetment, kidnapping and concealing dead body.
Tanko and Isyaku pleaded guilty on the first count charge of criminal conspiracy and pleaded not guilty to the other four count charges, while the third defendant pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The Prosecutor, who is also the Attorney General of Kano state, Barr. Musa Abdullahi-Lawan, informed the court that sometimes in Nov. 2021, the defendants conspired and kidnapped the five-year-old Hanifa while she was returning from Islamiyya school.
He alleged that Tanko, the proprietor of Nobel Kids Comprehensive College, Kano, had on Dec. 4, 2021, kidnapped and held Hanifa hostage in his house situated at Tudun Murtala for days and killed her with poison.
“In the process, the second defendant Isyaku buried her in a shallow grave in the premises of Northwest Preparatory School situated at Kwanar Yan Ghana, Tudun Murtala, Kano.
“On Dec. 27, 2021, the third defendant Musa wrote a letter to the victim’s family, on behalf of Tanko, demanding the sum of six million Naira as ransom.”
Abdullahi-Lawan told the court that the prosecution will present four witnesses or more to prove their case on the next adjourned date.
According to the prosecutor, the offence contravened Sections 97, 95 and 273,274(b) and 277 of the Penal Code Laws of Kano State 1991.
The defence counsel, Barr. Mukhtar Labaran-Usman, made an application, through Section 36(b) of the 1999 constitution, requesting for all the documents, to enable him prepare for accelerated hearing.
Justice Usman Na’abba ordered the remand of the defendants in a Correctional facility and adjourned the matter until March 2 and 3 for hearing.
▪︎ Additional reports by NAN