Proprietor Makes U-Turn In Court, Denies Killing Hanifa Abubakar
The case of the death of Hanifa Abubakar took a new twist on Monday as her proprietor, Abdulmalik Tanko, made a U-turn to deny killing the five-year-old schoolgirl.
Hanifa was until her death a pupil of Noble Kids Comprehensive College – a school located in Kwanar ‘Yan Gana in Tudun Murtala Quarters in Nassarawa Local Government Area of Kano State.
She was reportedly abducted by the school proprietor – Tanko – who demanded ransom from her parents and was said to have killed her in December last year.
Tanko, according to Haruna Kiyawa who is the Police Public Relations Officer in Kano, confessed that he kidnapped Hanifa and took her to his house where he contacted her relatives and demanded a ransom of N6 million.
But the defendant who had initially consented to the allegations preferred against him by the state government denied all four charges when the hearing of the case resumed on Monday.
He, however, agreed to only one charge bordering on conspiracy to commit kidnap. Tanko and his two other alleged accomplices were represented by a counsel from legal aid, Labaran Usman.
In his ruling, Justice Usman Naaba later adjourned until March 2 and 3 for the continuation of the hearing of the case.
Despite his position, the Attorney-General of the state, Abdullahi Lawan, is hopeful that the evidence already gathered will ensure justice is served in the case.
He explained that the representation of the defendants became necessary for the case to move forward, in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution.
Lawan, who doubles as the Commissioner for Justice, assured the people that the state government would provide the necessary witnesses required in the case.
In his confession, while being paraded by the police, Tanko was said to have narrated how he conspired with one Hashim Isyaku to kill Hanifa on December 18, 2021, having realised that the girl had recognised him.
Hanifa later was buried in a shallow grave within the school premises.
In his reaction, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje recommended stringent sentences as the best punishment for people who commit such crimes Tanko was accused of.