The arraignment of killer of little Hanifa Abubakar, Abdulmalik Tanko and his accomplice before a state high court on Monday suffered set back as lack of legal representation or defence counsel stalled court case.
Abdulmalik alongside Hashimu Isyaku and Fatima Bashir, were charged to court on five count charges bordering on criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, confinement and culpable homicide contrary to section 97, 274, 277, 221 of the penal code.
When the case came up before Justice Usman Na’abba, the trio were not legally represented and so they prayed the court to order Kano State Government to provide legal representation for them.
However, the prosecution counsel led by the State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Bar. Musa Abdullahi Lawan asked the court to give it a week, 14th February, 2022 to enable it provide the three defendants legal representation.
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According to Bar. Lawan, “the Ministry of Justice had already prayed a charge against Abdulmalik and two other defendants. We are supposed to apply for the charges to be read to them at the court sitting today (yesterday) but unfortunately they do not have legal representation. This is a capital offence which the constitution says that you cannot trial a person without legal representation. You heard the court ask them of their legal representation and they said they don’t have any. And they further said they wanted the state to provide them with legal representation. We are only getting to know that now. But we have undertaking before the court that we will provide a legal Representation for them. And we asked the court for a week, 14th February, 2022 to enable us provide them with a legal representation so that the case can go on smoothly.
“Let me assure you that, as far as the ministry of Justice is concerned, we are fully ready for this case. We are ready to present our witnesses ones the charges are read to their understanding and their plea taking,” the Attorney General said.
The presiding Judge, Justice Na’abba however granted the prayer and adjourned the case till 14th February, 2022.
Recall that the state government had earlier arraigned the killer, Abdulmalik and his accomplice before a Magistrate court but decided to transfer the case to the State High Court because the Magistrate court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the case.