Hanifa’s Murder: Lack of Defence Lawyer Stalls Trial in Kano

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The trial of the murder case against Abdulmalik Tankos, who allegedly kidnapped and brutally killed his 5-year-old pupil, Hanifa Abubakar, was stalled Monday for lack of counsel to represent the accused.

Tanko, alongside his two accomplices, Hashimu Isyaku and Fatima Jibrin, appeared before the High Court 6, presided over by Justice Usman Na-Abba.

The trio were charged with Criminal Conspiracy, Kidnapping, Concealing/Keeping in Confinement a Kidnapped Person and Culpable Homicide, contrary to Sections 97, 274, 277 and 221 of the Penal Code.

When the accused persons were arraigned before the High Court on Monday, they were docked without a legal representation.

The state counsel, who doubles as the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Mohammed Lawal, prayed to the court to decide if the proceeding should go ahead, because it appeared the accused persons did not have lawyers.

Na-abba then asked the defendants, starting from the principal suspect, Tanko, if they could engage the services of a lawyer or want the state government to provide lawyers for them.

Tanko, who is the first accused person, said he could not hire a lawyer but he wanted the state to provide one for him.

Isyaku, the second defendant, said the same thing when was asked about hiring a lawyer. The third defendant, Jibrin, also said she wanted the state to provide a lawyer for her.

The Attorney-General then prayed to the court to adjourn the hearing to February 14, to enable the state provide lawyers for the accused persons as they requested.

The judge then granted the state counsel’s prayer and adjourned to Monday, February 14, for the continuation of the trial, when the accused persons get lawyers.

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Lawal also informed the court of their application to substitute the charges filed by the state against the accused persons on February 1 with the one filed on February 2, a prayer that was granted by the judge.

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