Hanifa’s murder: Tanko, Isiyaku to die by hanging
After six months of prosecution, a Kano High Court has sentenced Abdulmaliq Tanko and Hashimu Isiyaku to death by hanging for the murder of six-year-old Hanifa Abubakar.
Tanko, the prime suspect, is the proprietor of Nobel Kids Academy, the school Hanifa attended till her death.
He was found guilty, alongside Isiyaku, of kidnapping, concealment and criminal conspiracy, punishable under the Penal Code of Kano State.
However, the third defendant in the criminal case, Fatima Musa, was convicted of criminal conspiracy and attempted kidnapping, which earned her two years imprisonment. The mother of a six months old baby was discharged of abatement.
The suspects were arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) in December 2021, while attempting to collect N6 million ransom from the parents of late Hanifa Abubakar, after her death.
Tanko had connived with the two others to bury Hanifa in a shallow grave within his school premises.
Upon the arrest, Kano government, in January 2022, arraigned the three suspects before Justice Usman Na’aba of the state High Court on five counts, including kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, concealment, abatement and criminal conspiracy, offences punishable under Sections 95, 275, 277, 97 and 85 of the Kano Penal Code.
Delivering the judgment, yesterday, Justice Na’abba declared that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt, supported with substantive evidence, to convince the court on the four charges against the first defendant.
Beside the death penalty slammed on kidnapping, Na’aba also sentenced Tanko to five years imprisonment for criminal conspiracy.
Earlier, the defence counsel and assistant director at Legal Aid Council, Kano office, Aisha Imam, pleaded on the judge to temper justice with mercy. She particularly sought the court’s leniency on the second defendant who is the breadwinner of his family and having aged and sick mother.
Reacting to the defence plea, however, the Prosecution Counsel/Kano State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Musa Lawan, reminded the court that the crime in question was a heinous one and against humanity.
He noted that the victim’s mother also demanded justice, and that the only fairness that could bring about justice was maximum sentence for the defendants.
Reacting to the judgment, Hanifa’s father, Abubakar Abdulsalam, applauded the court and appreciated the intervention of Kano government and other stakeholders for their support.
Although, the convicts have the legal right to challenge the judgment of the High Court at a higher jurisdiction, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje had pledged to sign the death warrant of the suspects, if found guilty.