Hashim Isyaku and Fatima Jibril Musa, two of the defendants charged with the kidnap and murder of five-year-old Hanifa Abubakar, both said the first defendant, Abdulmalik Tanko, the school proprietor, deceived them into becoming conspirators.
The duo stated this when narrating their roles in the gruesome murder before a Kano State high court.
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.
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