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Sharia Court orders psychiatric test as Kabara keeps mute on fresh charges

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Kabara

Kano State Upper Shari’a Court Khadi, Ibrahim Yola, has ordered medical evaluation on the controversial Islamic scholar, Abduljabbar Kabara, to determine his mental and hearing health.

The court issued the order upon the request of Siraju Sai’da, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and lead prosecution counsel against Kabara presently facing blasphemous charges.

Concern for the medical check ensued when the accused ignored verbal response and chose to remain silent to four fresh charges read to him.

At the resumption of hearing yesterday in Kofar Kudu, the Khadi quashed the objection of the defence against the application submitted by the prosecution to replace the initial charge contained in the police’s First Report Information (FRI) with fresh charges.

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The Sharia jury described the FRI as mere information and allegation of charge, which was not tantamount to commission of an offence or charge. He, therefore, ruled in favour of the prosecution.

After granting the authority, counsel to the government, Sa’ida tendered four fresh charges on blasphemous comments against the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, and his wife, an offence violating Section 382 (B) of Kano state Shari’a Law of 2000.

Confusion ensued after the new charges were read to the accused and he kept mute.

Although, counsel to the defence, Saleh Bakaro, did not raise objection to the medical check, he faulted the court ruling that allowed prosecution to file new charges.

Bakaro also expressed worry over the silence of the court on the issue of jurisdiction of four senior lawyers prosecuting the blasphemy case against Kabara. The state government had assembled four SANs, including a professor of Law, and 14 others to prosecute the matter.

Meanwhile, counsel to the accused has tendered motion of appeal to challenge the Sharia court ruling. The defence notice of appeal, however, failed to compel the court to suspend proceedings, as Yola quickly adjourned hearing till September 16, 2021.

“We have raised issues on competence and jurisdiction of the court, and whether or not the prosecution can replace the FRI. We were shocked that the court was silent on the jurisdiction. We are challenging the ruling and even the reading of the charges because, in law, you can’t even read charges against somebody who is not ready and who is challenging the competence,” they said.

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