A prosecution witness, Ubale Usman, has tendered ten exhibits before a Kano High Court in a case of alleged murder of 5-year-old Hanifa Abubakar.

Abdulmalik Tanko, alongside Hashimu Isyaku and Fatima Musa are facing a five-count charge of criminal conspiracy, attempt to kidnap, abetment/kidnapping and concealing dead body.

The offences contravened section 97, 95 and 273,274(b) and 277 of the Penal Code Laws of Kano State 1991.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Wednesday, the prosecuting counsel, Attorney General of Kano State, Musa Lawan, presented three witnesses before the court, in which Mr Usman was among them as Prosecution Witness, PW3.

Mr Usman, an investigator at the anti-kidnapping squad in Kano Police Command, tendered some of the exhibits that include four mobile phones, cardigan, white hijab, school badge, shovel, victim’s picture and the sum of N30,300 cash.

Mr Usman testified that on December 4, 2021 a case of missing person was reported to the police by late Hanifa’s father, Abubakar Abdulsalam of ‘Yan Kaba Quarters.

“On January 20, operatives of DSS informed the police that Tanko was arrested for kidnapping Hanifa,” he said.

He said that the SSS, police and medical team immediately moved to the scene, located at Tudun Murtala along Kwanar Yan Gana where late Hanifa’s body was exhumed.

“The body was exhumed by medical team and evacuated to Abdullahi Wase Specialist Hospital Kano for medical examination after which the corps was handed to the deceased father for burial,” he told the court.

The PW3 also told the court that he personally interviewed Mr Tanko, who told him that he kidnapped Hanifa on December 4, 2021, at about 5:30 p.m, after closing from Islamiyya school.

“Mr Tanko took the victim and boarded a tricycle later took her to his house situated at Tudun Murtala Quarters Kano.

“Tanko told his wife Hanifa is one of his staff daughter that traveled to Abuja for job interview,” he said.

Mr Usman further testified that on December 10 at about 11:00 p.m, Mr Tanko took away the girl from his house and on their way, he put a rat poison in tea and gave her to drink.

“On December 11, 2021, Tanko ordered the second defendant to dig a shallow grave, put Hanifa’s corpse in a sack and buried her at the premises of Northwest Preparatory School, situated at Kwanar Yan Ghana,” narrated the PW3.

At the last hearing, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Responding, the defense counsel, Mukhtar Labaran-Usman, cross-examined the PW3 and asked him who was the mastermind of the offence and how he knew the cardigan, hijab and school badge belongs to late Hanifa.

In his ruling, Justice Usman Na’abba ordered the remand of the accused in prison and adjourned the matter till March 3 for continuation of the hearing.

Speaking after the court sitting, the Attorney General told journalists that they presented three witnesses before the court.

“Two out of the witnesses were DSS operatives who testified before the court in camera for security reasons on how they conducted their investigation in the case.