Abdulmalik Tanko and Hanifa
The school proprietor, Abdulmalik Tanko, who earlier confessed to abducting, killing and burying 5-year-old Hanifa Abubakar has now denied the allegation while pleading not guilty to the crime.
Initially, while being paraded at the Kano State Police Headquarters, Tanko had told journalists that he kidnapped and killed the victim with N100 rat poison before burying her remains in a shallow grave in one of his schools.
However, during his arraignment before a High Court in Kano on Monday, Feb. 14, Tanko, alongside his co-defendant denied committing the offences.
They pleaded guilty to the first count in the charge, which is a conspiracy. However, all three suspects pleaded not guilty to the four other counts, which included kidnapping, demanding ransom and murder of the victim.
The trial judge has adjourned the matter to March 2 and 3 for the commencement of the hearing and ordered the accused persons to be remanded in the correctional centre.