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Hanifa’s killing: Court orders Kano govt to provide legal representation for suspects

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A Kano State high court has directed the state ministry of Justice to provide the alleged murderers of the five years old Hanifa Abubakar with legal representation before the procedure of the prosecution.

Justice Usman Na’aba of the high court six sitting at Audu Bako secretariat gave the order on Monday when the prosecution arraigned the accused before the court.

The state government had transferred the case from the Magistrate Court with five fresh counts before the high court due to the lack of jurisdiction of the lower court to hear the matter.

However, the arraignment of suspects, Abdulmaliq Tanko, Hashimu Isiyaku and Fatima Jibrin could not continue because of the inability of the accused to produce a defence counsel.

Appearing before Justice Na’aba on Monday, Kano state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Musa A. Lawal, moved for the prosecution of the matter but drawn the attention of the court to the absence of defense counsel.

Reacting to the observation, Justice Na-aba asked the defendants if they could engage the services of lawyers or wanted the state government to provide them with legal representation.

The accused persons, who said they were incapacitated to afford services of a legal team, however in their depressive reply, pleaded for consideration of the state government to enable them with lawyers.

In his response, the Attorney-General of the state who led the prosecution team, prayed for an adjournment to enable the state to provide lawyers for the accused persons.

While ruling on the matter, Justice Na’aba who emphasised the constitutional right of the accused persons to legal representative insisted that the government was duty-bound to provide the defendants, in case of incapacitation, a legal representation.

The court adjourned the matter to 14 February 2022 for arraignment.

The trio were charged with criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, concealing/keeping in confinement a kidnapped person and culpable homicide, punishment under sections 97, 274, 277 and 221 of Kano state Penal Code Law.

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