Blasphemy case: Abduljabar says defence lawyer demanded N1.5m for media
As lawyers withdraw from representing him
THE embattled Kano cleric, Sheikh Abdujabar Kabara has accused his defence lawyers of demanding N1.5 million that will be expended on the media to curry public sympathy to create an escape route from his presumed current judicial ordeals.
He added that his lawyers have withdrawn from representing him so the court has given him two weeks to get another lawyer to represent him.
Addressing the court on Thursday at the court sitting at Kofar Kudu, Sheik Abduljabar said, “Two days before coming to this court for the last sitting, the lawyers came to the correctional facility where I was detained. They informed me that I was going to appear in court and that the charges would be read to me.
“Then they cautioned me that those charges were traps set to frame me that if I accept those allegations, I have walked into a technical suicide trap that has been set for me.
“They told me that already my fate has been decided that the judgement has already been written against me by this court and the only way out for me is to keep quiet. At this point, I asked them, what is the implication of my keeping quiet. They told me they will handle it.”
He said his client said “that after the case they will address the press. They now asked me to provide N500,000 for them to organise a press conference which I provided them with N300,000. Unfortunately, on that day in court, I kept quiet as instructed. The court then ordered that I should undergo mental and hearing tests, and then my lawyers did not object. Rather, I saw them chatting with the prosecution lawyers; I felt embarrassed.
“It is these same lawyers who joined me with a top civil servant in the state. I will not disclose his or her name.
“The top government official advised me, that if I am confirmed to be mentally sick, my career will be condemned but in the process, I will regain my freedom and they need only one million naira to spend on the media by calling a large press conference to carry out the whole process that will condemn my career, but in return that I am mentally sick; they will facilitate for me to regain my freedom.”
Meanwhile while responding on the matter, the spokesperson of the affected team of lawyers, Rabiu Shuaibu Abdullahi said they are not legally in a position to reveal what actually happened between them and their client. However, they advised him to take his case to the proper channel within two weeks or they will take action against him.
Abdullahi said, “We are legal practitioners and are guided by professional ethics, so there is no way we can reveal what happened between us and our client to the public.
“However, we call on our client Sheikh Abduljabbar to report the allegations he is having against us, which he mentioned to the court this morning to the proper authority so that we can be quizzed for violating professional ethics.
“If by two weeks he fails to do that we will be forced to take the necessary action to protect our image and integrity.”
This conflict became public when the team of lawyers represented by Haruna Magashi told the Upper Shariah Court, Kofar Kudu, in Kano, presided over by Ibrahim Sarki Yola on Thursday that they were withdrawing from representing the cleric and he is entitled to a lawyer and could get one. He submitted the withdrawal letter to the court and left.
Magashi told newsmen that following a misunderstanding between the cleric, who is currently in the Kano Correctional Centre, and five members of the legal team, they have reached the conclusion that the only option left for them was to withdraw from representing him in the case.
In the last court sitting that took place on September 2, the court had ordered that the cleric’s mental and physical health be evaluated by psychiatric doctors to ascertain his mental and physical condition after he refused to respond to charges read against him by the court.
The report of the medical examination was read before the court that he is sound and healthy.
Also addressing newsmen at the end of the court session, the spokesperson of the government’s legal team, Suraju Saida, said that the court has confirmed the cleric to be healthy and the result was presented to it. “However, his lawyers have withdrawn from representing him so the court has given him two weeks to get another lawyer to represent him,” he stated.
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