KANO State Ministry of Justice has ordered the release of five persons who were allegedly said to have been arrested and standing trial before a Chief Magistrates’ Court over the alleged murder of 74-year-old Mrs Bridget Agbahime, who was killed over blasphemy of Prophet Mohammed.
It will be recalled that the alleged killers of the late Igbo woman who were arrested were Dauda Ahmed, Abdulmumeen Mustafa, Zubairu Abubakar, Abdullahi Abubakar and Musa Abdullahi and were arraigned before a Chief Magistrates’ Court No 20 sitting at Audu Bako court complex on a four-count charge.
The trial of the accused persons which lasted six months was terminated on the advice which emanated from the office of the Director Public Prosecution, Kano State Ministry of Justice, which stated that the state had no case against the accused persons and they were discharged accordingly.
However, the state prosecution counsel, Rabiu Yusuf, informed the court that the state was withdrawing the matter, saying “we received the case diary from the police on June 8 and having gone through it, the Attorney- General of Kano State evaluated the facts in accordance with sections 130 and 150 of the criminal procedure code.
‘’The legal advice presented to the court, dated June 24, stated that there was no case to answer as the suspects were all innocent and ordered the court to discharge all the accused persons.”
The five suspected alleged killers of Bridget arraigned before the court denied the allegations slammed against them, stating that all contained in the FIR were not true.
Subsequently, the case diary was forwarded to the Director Public Prosecution for legal advice; police investigation into the matter was still in progress, the prosecution informed the court.
However, the spokesman, Kano State High Court of Justice, Mohammed Baba Jibo, confirmed the development, noting that the discharged persons were laid off the hook owing to a legal advise emanating from the office of the Director Public Prosecution.
According to him, the police and other relevant agencies had been served copies of the directive that contained the legal advice from the state Ministry of Justice.
In his reaction, counsel for the suspects, Mr Abdulsalam Gambo, hailed the courage and wisdom exhibited by the office of the Director Public Prosecution, describing the verdict as judicious.
However, it will also be recalled that the police docked 13 people before the Kano Chief Magistrates’ Court on allegations bordering on the killing of the 74-year-old woman, who was murdered for committing an alleged act of blasphemy in a Kano market.
The first information report said that on June 2, 2016, the accused persons at Kofar Wambai market alleged that the deceased had blasphemed Prophet Mohammed and they jointly went ahead and murdered her.
According to the charge sheet read out to the accused persons in an open court, they were accused of committing offences of inciting disturbance, joint act, mischief and culpable homicide contrary to section, 114,80,327 and 221 of the penal code law.
The prosecution informed the court that the first accused person, Dauda Ahmed had a brawl with the deceased, noting that Dauda seized the late woman, rained slaps on her before he proceeded to shout Allahu Akbar meaning (Allah is Great) with which he recruited the other offenders.
The charge sheet also alleged that the shout by the first accuse attracted a huge crowd to whom he disclosed that Bridget had blasphemed the prophet of Islam.
FIR further disclosed that the crowd went ahead to strike the accused woman with clubs and various types of dangerous weapons, culminating into death.
It was also stated the charge sheet noted that one Salawihu, Ibrahim, Dini,Isiaku, Mallam Sani, Sufiyanu, Yunusa and Mallam Umar were part of the mob that carried out the dastardly act, but are at large.