By Uche Amunike
The Kano state government has presently filed five new charges against Abdulmalik Tanko and his two other accomplices for allegedly masterminding 5year old Hanifa Abubakar’s murder at the Dakata quarters of the Nassarawa Local Government Area of the state.
The trio of Abdulmalik Tanko, Hashimu Isiyaku and Fatima Musa are facing trial before Senior Magistrate Mohammad Jibrin for alleged kidnapping, culpable homicide, concealing and confinement of a kidnapped victim.
The three suspects, apart from being accused of kidnapping and murdering Hanifa, also buried her remains in a shallow grave after demanding a ransom of N6m from her parents, out of which they paid a part payment of N100,000 to her abductors.
The three suspects were remanded in the Kano Correctional Centre by Magistrate Jibrin, but when the hearing of Hanifa Abubakar’s Murder came up for hearing, Wednesday, Prosecution Counsel, Aisha Mahmud informed the court that the government had decided to transfer the criminal charges to a State High Court.
Mahmud, who also doubles as Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) at the Kano State Ministry of Justice stated that government decision was based on the fact that the lower court lacks jurisdiction to hear the charges brought against the suspects.
This made him to plead for the suspects to remain in the correctional centre for 7 days, pending when the prosecution will file termination notice of the case at the lower court.
The prosecution submitted that the prime suspect of Hanifa Abubakar’s murder, Tanko, will face culpable homicide charge while the other two suspects are facing charges of kidnapping, conspiracy, aiding and abetting.
Hear her: ‘Considering the nature of the offences committed by the suspects and the fact that the lower court has no jurisdiction to hear the case, we have filed the charges before a high court’.
‘Based on this argument, we appeal for further remand of the suspects for one week, pending when the case record is properly filed and when we shall return to terminate the matter,’ she stated.
The plea of the prosecution was however granted and the case adjourned till February 9 2022 for further mention.
Even though the suspects had no legal representation at the court, the DPP told newsmen that the higher court will be left to determine such matter.
Recall that the 5yr old Hanifa Abubakar was kidnapped and murdered by her school proprietor, Abdulmalik Tanko, who owns two schools in Kano State, namely, Noble Kids Academy and Northwest Preparatory School.
After Tanko kidnapped her, he demanded N6m ransome from her parents 10 days after they had been subjected to the trauma of not knowing if she was alive or dead. They were able to struggle and raise N100,000, hoping to have their daughter back. Unfortunately, Tanko had no mercy as he decided to kill her out of fear that she might recognize him and give him away.
The police investigation, however led to the discovery that after killing Hanifa, her body parts were cut up in chunks and buried in a shallow grave inside the school compound.