Proprietor opens defense, admits to kidnapping Hanifa
The murder case of late Hanifa Abubakar, a five years old pupil of Noble Kids Academy, Kano, allegedly killed by her proprietor resumed on Monday at the state high court.
The prime suspect in the murder, Abdulmaliq Tanko, while opening his defense admitted to one of the criminal charges of kidnapping the victim.
Tanko, along with two other suspects, Hashim Isiyaku and Fatima Musa; presently standing trial had denied other charges, including criminal conspiracy, attempt to kidnap, abetting, and concealing a dead body of late Hanifa.
The 34-year-old father of three explained how he picked Hanifa up at her Islamic school on the 4th of December 2021 and took her to his residence but denied poisoning Hanifa to death.
Tanko’s latest confession was contrary to his earlier revelation that he perpetrated the act using N100 rat poison powder mixed in a glass of tea that he gave to Hanifa.
He also backtracked on his claim to have covered the Hanifa’s body with the school banner and left her on the school premises while sleeping.
While informing the court that he decided to kidnap Hanifa to raise money to solve his financial challenges, Tanko later shocked the court when he denied knowledge of how Hanifa finally died in his school promises.
For the first time, Tanko also exonerated the two suspects (Hashim and Fatima) of any knowledge of how Hanifa died at the school premises.
“The whole thing happened on the 4th December 2021,” the suspect said.
“One Saturday evening I set out to kidnap her from her Islamic school because I have a financial crisis. I hired a Keke Napep and picked up the child. I took her to my home and lied to my wife that she was my staff’s daughter who wants to travel and wants the girl to stay with us for two to three days.
“After two to three days, my wife began to raise questions as to when will the mother of the child return, so I told her to be patient and that I can’t reach her mother on the phone.
“On the 10th December 2021, when my wife was seriously complaining, I was on my way to the market when I met one Abu who had applied for a job as a security guard in my school but I have not yet employed him.
“So I told him I have a simple job for him and that he should come over to the school at Tudun Murtala that there is a child he is going to look after for me for only one day within the school premises.
“He accepted to come over at 11:30 pm and we parted ways. I returned home and told my wife that Hanifa’s mother has returned and I am taking the child back to their home.
“Later, at night, about 10 pm, Hanifa was seriously sleeping I took her to my school which is not too distant from my house. So we got to the school, I opened the entrance to the school and one of the offices where I kept her on a three-seater chair and I covered her with a banner. I locked her in the school.
“When the daybreak, about 7.30 am I decided to return to the school. Although I met Hanifa in the same position where I left her, I was shocked to find her lifeless body lying straight on the floor,” Tanko narrated in his defense.”
The prosecution counsel, who doubles as Kano state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Musa Abdullahi Lawan, asked whether Tanko knew when and how Hanifa died on the school premises.
In his response, the prime suspect who admitted knowledge of when Hanifa died, however, denied that neither he nor the two other suspects know how the victim was killed.
Justice Usman Na’aba adjourned the criminal trial till Tuesday 10th, 2022 for the continuation of the defense.