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Kano cleric, Kabara, challenges SANs’ appearance in blasphemy suit

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Kabara

•Court rules on jurisdiction, others Sept 2
Embattled Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abdujabbar Nasiru Kabara, yesterday, challenged the jurisdiction of four Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) to prosecute alleged blasphemous charge against him.

He also faulted the decision of the prosecution to replace the First Report Information (FRI) filed by the Kano State Police Command with new charges.

The state government had assembled the SANs, including a Professor of Law and 14 others, to prosecute the blasphemy and public disturbance charges filed against the Kano-based controversial Islamic scholar.

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Standing before the jury at the resumption of hearing yesterday at the Kofar Kudu Upper Sharia Court, the lead prosecution counsel, Sa’id Sa’ida (SAN), moved an application to replace the initial FRI filed on July 15, 2021 with a fresh charge.

He told Khadi Ibrahim Yola that the replacement became necessary to ensure proper prosecution of the matter since the FRI could no longer accommodate the essential component of the alleged offence.

In a swift objection, the defence lawyer, Saleh Bakaro, argued that the replacement of the FRI was not acceptable under the Islamic law.

While arguing the authority of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to engage the SANs, submitted that under extant laws, the senior attorneys could only appear in a High Court of record.

He stated: “The privileges and function rules, which are the ground norm of legal professional act, under which all regulations of legal practice in Nigeria are cited, say categorical that a SAN can only appear before the Supreme Court down to other courts of record. So our position is the four SANs do not have the jurisdiction to stand before the Upper Sharia Court in the first place.

“And by implication, a SAN can appear only from High to Supreme Courts and that is why we urged the court to determine the jurisdiction matter first because we feel there is no need for us dissipating efforts in futility.”

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