The Kano State Government yesterday re-arraigned the proprietor of Nobel Kids Comprehensive College, Kano, Abdulmalik Tanko, 34, before a Kano High Court for the alleged m****r of his five-year-old pupil, Hanifa Abubakar.

The Proprietor, alongside Hashimu Isyaku, 37 and Fatima Musa, 26, who lives at Tudun Murtala Quarters, Kano, is facing a five-count charge along with the other two accused persons, of criminal conspiracy, attempt to kidnap, abetment, kidnapping and concealing a dead body.

This came as the prime suspect recanted his earlier statement of killing Hanifa.

Tanko and Isyaku pleaded guilty on the first count charge of criminal conspiracy and pleaded not guilty to the other four count charges, while the third defendant pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Kano State Prosecutor and the Attorney General of the state, Musa Abdullahi-Lawan, told the court that sometime in November 2021, the defendants conspired and kidnapped the five-year-old Hanifa while she was returning from Islamiyya School.

He alleged that Tanko, had on December 4, 2021, kidnapped and held Hanifa hostage in his house situated at Tudun Murtala for days and killed her with poison.

According to Abdullahi-Lawan, “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, Tudun Murtala, Kano. On December 27, 2021, the third defendant Musa wrote a letter to the victim’s family, on behalf of Tanko, demanding N6million as ransom.”

He informed the court that the prosecution would present four witnesses or more to prove its case on the next adjourned date, saying, the offence contravened Sections 97, 95 and 273,274(b) and 277 of the Penal Code Laws of Kano State 1991.

On his part, the defence counsel, Mukhtar Labaran-Usman, made an application, through Section 36(b) of the 1999 constitution, requesting for all the documents, to enable him to prepare for an accelerated hearing.

Justice Usman Na’abba ordered the remand of the defendants in a Correctional facility and adjourned the matter until March 2 and 3 for hearing.