Two of the defendants charged with the kidnap and murder of five-year-old Hanifa Abubakar have narrated their roles in the gruesome crime, saying the first defendant, Abdulmalik Tanko, the school proprietor, deceived them.
The duo, Hashim Isyaku and Fatima Jibril Musa, appeared before a Kano State high court as the witnesses.
In their separate revelations on what they truly knew on the murder of the girl, they said they were deceived by the first defendant, Abdulmalik Tanko, into becoming conspirators in the act.
Standing as the second defence witness, 37-year-old, Isyaku, a bricklayer, told the court that Tanko informed him a woman had a daughter in his school and her husband wanted to marry a second wife.
The bricklayer said Tanko also told him that the woman wanted her daughter to be kidnapped so the husband would forget about the second marriage.
“Abdulmalik (Tanko) took out his phone and showed me a picture. It was the girl’s picture. I told him it’s an offence. He said the woman said she’s her daughter, so no problem.
“The following day, he came to my house and showed me the same picture. He showed me a GSM number and directed a tricycle driver to take me somewhere. He told me to call the number when I alight.
“He also said we would see students coming back from school and that we should look for the girl in that picture. He told us to come and inform him once we saw the girl.
“We stopped at Dakata junction and called the number. I heard the voice of a woman. She asked if it’s Abdulmalik and I said no but it’s his phone. She said she was coming to meet me at Dakata junction.
“When she arrived, we went to the place and in no time, the children started coming. I took out the phone and opened the picture. We both watch the picture and watching over the pupils passing.
“We saw a pupil that resembles the girl in the picture. Fatima and I both watched again and concluded that she’s the girl we were looking for. That’s when we went back and separated ways.”
Isyaku added that since then, he did not communicate with Tanko until a month after when Tanko called him to help in burying a foetus belonging to the wife of his neighbour who is out of town.
“Things went back and forth from morning till 11pm when the foetus was buried in a shallow grave on the premises of one of Abdulmalik’s schools at Tudun Murtala area where the body was later exhumed and we were later arrested,” he added.
On her part, standing as the third and last defence witness, Fatima Jibril Musa, 25, who sells perishables said Abdulmalik requested to see her as regards Hanifa, adding that he promised to marry her and buy her furniture.
She said, “He said his sister’s husband wanted to marry another wife and she’s the one who gave him capital. She demanded to kidnap the girl in other to discourage the husband so that he would no longer have money to marry another wife.
“Abdulmalik promised to marry me if I kidnapped the girl and his sister would buy wedding furniture for me. Then he said we should meet the following day at Dakata.
“Around 4.30, I called him and he said he was at Dakata that I should stop at police station. When I reached there I stopped and I saw Hashim. He entered the tricycle and he told me they were together with Abdulmalik.
“Then we saw some pupils coming back from Islamiyya school. Hashim showed me the girl. We then went our separate ways back home.”
The lady claimed that since then, she had neither spoken to Tanko nor seen him until the following year when she was arrested amidst heavy security.
Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned to the 14th of June for adoption of final written address.
Woman Bags 12 Years Jail Term For Defrauding Deeper Life Church
An Ekiti High Court, on Monday, sentenced 40-year-old Sade Otenuga to 12 years imprisonment for defrauding the Deeper Life Bible Church of N620,000.
The court held that Sade deceived the church into paying her the money on the pretext that she owned a dilapidated structure in Ado-Ekiti which the church could buy and convert the land to better use.
The court also held that a pastor in the church, Oso Olugbenga, transferred the money to Sade’s bank account in two electronic transfers on April 6 and April 8, 2021.
Sade faced a two-count of Advance Fee Fraud and Stealing punishable under the laws of Ekiti State.
Testifying before the court earlier, Pastor Olugbenga said: “The church decided to buy the building, as it had become hideouts for criminals in the area.
“The convict also gave the church instruction to remove the building on the land, knowing full well that she was not the rightful owner.
“All efforts made to recover the money after the church discovered fraud in the transaction proved abortive.’’
Led in evidence before the court, Sade confessed to have committed the offence.
To prove the case against Sade, Police prosecutor, Samson Osobu, called three witnesses and tendered three exhibits including N100,000 cash recovered from the convict.
Sade’s counsel, Yinka Opaleke, did not call any witness, but pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.
Delivering judgment, Justice Lekan Ogunmoye said there was prescribed mandatory sentence for the offence and the court had no discretionary power to exercise in the matter.
“The defendant is hereby sentenced to seven years imprisonment in count one (Fraud) and five years imprisonment in count two (Stealing) with N20,000 option of fine.
“The sentences are to run concurrently,’’ Justice Ogunmoye said.
Sexual Assault: Court Sentences School Bus Driver To Life Imprisonment
A Lagos State Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court has sentenced a school bus driver, Tony Akpan, to life imprisonment for sexually assaulting a five-year-old pupil.
Justice Abiola Soladoye in her judgement, held that the prosecution had presented overwhelming evidence against Akpan and his accomplice, Itoro Wilson, the school bus assistant.
The Judge also sentenced Wilson to two years imprisonment for assisting the convict to evade justice.
”There is overwhelming evidence before the court. The testimony of the survivor is truthful and boldly narrated by her.
”The medical doctor’s testimony also corroborated what she said.
“The first defendant is hereby found guilty as charged contrary to the provisions of Section 261 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State and is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment.
“The first defendant should have his name entered in the Sex Offenders Register of the Lagos State Government”, she held.
The Judge also held that the second defendant ought to have spoken up and not concealed the truth.
”The punishment meted out to this defendant will serve as a deterrent to others out there.
“The second defendant is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment for a felony,”
The Judge tasked Roy Mind Favour Filled School, Unilag Estate, Magodo Isheri where the survivor attended to recruit responsible staff going forward.
“The school in question should recruit responsible staff.
“The parents must get value for the money they pay. Miscreants should not be on the payroll of any responsible school.
“Children are meant to be protected and not be subjected to any assault whatsoever,” the judge held.
Before this judgment, five witnesses testified against the defendants at the trial.
The prosecution team, comprising Mr Olusola Shoneye, Mrs Olufunke Adegoke, and Ms. Abimbola Abolade, said the convicts committed the offence on Oct. 20, 2017, on Magodo Road, Isheri, Lagos.
The prosecution also said the offence contravenes the provisions of sections 137 and 415 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
Man Steals N1.7m Alcohol, Gets N600,000 Bail
A man, Tewogbola Olawale, was on Wednesday arraigned before a Yaba Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing alcoholic drinks valued at N1,700,000 at the Pen Cinema, Agege area of Lagos State.
The defendant was charged with two counts of conspiracy and stealing.
The charges read, “That you, Tewogbola Olawale, and others at large, sometime in October 2021 at Crysland Nigeria Limited, Pen Cinema, Agege area of Lagos State, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony, to wit: stealing, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
“That you, Tewogbola Olawale, and others at large, on the same date, time and place, in the aforesaid magisterial district, did steal pallets of Trophy Beer, valued at N1,700,000.00 property of Crysland Nigeria Limited, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.”
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Chief Magistrate, P.B. Nwaka, granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N600,000 with three sureties in like sum.
He adjourned the case until June 29 for further hearing.
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