Abdulmalik Tanko, the self-confessed killer of five-year-old Hanifa Abubakar, pled guilty to the charge of criminal conspiracy at his resumed trial on Monday.
Tanko, a proprietor of the school the young Abubakar was attending, previously confessed to kidnapping her for ransom, and, later her murder.
The said proprietor, 34, Hashimu Isyaku, 37, and Fatima Musa, aged 26, are facing a five-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, attempt to kidnap, abetment, kidnapping and concealing a dead body.
Tanko and Isyaku pleaded guilty to the charge of criminal conspiracy, but stated the opposite when other charges were read to them. On her part, Musa pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Musa Abdullahi-Lawan, attorney-general of Kano and prosecutor, narrated to the court that sometime in November 2021, the defendants conspired and kidnapped the five-year-old Hanifa while she was returning from school.
He alleged that Tanko kidnapped and held Hanifa hostage in his house for days and killed her with poison.
“In the process, the second defendant, Isyaku, buried her in a shallow grave in the premises of Northwest Preparatory School situated at Kwanar Yan Ghana, Tundun Murtala Kano,” Abdullahi-Lawan said.
“On December 27, 2021, the third defendant, Musa, wrote a letter to the victim’s family, on behalf of Tanko, demanding the sum of N6 million as ransom.”
Abdullahi-Lawan also told the court that the prosecution will present four or more witnesses to prove their case on the next adjourned date.
According to the prosecutor, the offence contravened sections 97, 95 and 273,274(b) and 277 of the Penal Code Laws of Kano State 1991.
Mukhtar Labaran-Usman, defence counsel, made an application pursuant to Section 36(b) of the 1999 constitution, requesting all the necessary documents to enable him prepare for an accelerated hearing.
Usman Na’abba, the presiding judge, ordered the remand of the defendants in a correctional facility and adjourned the matter until March 2 and 3 for hearing.