The Kano state high Court on Thursday sentenced the proprietor of Nobel Kids Academy and North West Preparatory School, Abdulmalik Tanko, to death for the kidnap and killing of five-year-old schoolgirl, Hanifa Abubakar.
The presiding Judge, Justice Usman Na’abba, also sentenced Tanko to five years imprisonment for the four-count charges levelled against him.
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, earlier this year had vowed to sign the death sentence without further delay if given by the court.
Tanko,38, Isyaku and Fatima Musa, 26, who all reside in Tudun Murtala Quarters, Kano, were arraigned on Feb.14, on five-count charge of criminal conspiracy, attempt to kidnap, abetment, kidnapping and concealing of kidnap person.
Delivering judgment, Na’abba, held that the prosecution proved their case with ingredients beyond reasonable doubt.
“Pw1,Pw2, exhibit 11,12,13, and oral evidence of the defendants tendered by the Prosecution proved their case.
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“The court discharges and acquits the third defendant Musa for abetment. She is sentenced to two years imprisonment being a mother for conspiracy and attempt to kidnap,” the judge held.
Earlier, the defence counsel, Mrs Hasiya Muhammad-Imam, pleaded for leniency and urged the court to temper justice with mercy on behalf of the defendants.
“My Lord Tanko is a father of three, Isyaku is the bread-winner of his family while Musa is a mother,” she pleaded.
The Prosecution Counsel, Attorney-General of Kano State, Musa Abdullahi-Lawan, said the case is a crime against humanity.
“I urge my Lord to impose the maximum sentence against the first defendant.
“The First defendant decided to kidnap Hanifa and decided to kill her because she is old enough to recognise him.
” The mother of late Hanifa should have justice” Abdullahi-Lawan said.
The prosecution counsel presented eight witnesses and tendered 14 exhibits to prove their case against the defendants and recovered N29,000.
The defence witnesses were the three convicts.
Tanko, the proprietor of Nobel Kids Comprehensive College, Kano, was alleged to have kidnapped Hanifa, on Dec. 1,2021, held her hostage in his house at Tudun Murtala for days before killing and buried her in a shallow grave on December 10, 2021.
NigeriaCrime reported that Tanko’s confessional statement he gave Hanifa tea mixed with rat poison and collected N100,000 as ransom out of the N6 million he demanded.
The offence, the State said contravenes the provisions of sections 97, 85 and 276, 274(b), 95 and 277 of the Penal Code, Laws of Kano State, 1991.