Emotions ran high in Kano yesterday as the principal suspect in the murder of five-year old pupil Hanifa Abubakar narrated how and why he killed her.
Abdulmalik Mohammed Tanko, 30, proprietor of Hanifa’s Noble Kids Academy, Kwanar Dakata in Nassarawa Local Government Area, Kano State, said he used a N100 rat poison to kill her after collecting a ransom of N100,000 from the victim’s parents.
Moments before he was paraded at the State Police Command headquarters in Kano yesterday, Hanifa’s distraught mother, Fatima Maina, had charged at the suspect, raining slaps on him for putting her in sorrow.
Hanifa’s father, Abubakar Abdulsalam, was however calm but tearful. He said his daughter’s killers “have not been fair to me, neither have they been fair to the world.”
He expressed optimism that God “will fight for me.”
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday mourned her death and sent a condolence message to her parents.
Nigerians took to the social media to demand justice in the matter while the Kano State Government shut down the school immediately.
Giving details of the alleged murder, the principal suspect said: “I picked her inside Keke NAPEP and I carried her to my own house where I lied to my wife that the girl was a daughter to one of the women working in my school and that the mother traveled and pleaded with us to keep the girl for some days. My wife accepted and kept the girl for that reason.
“I realised that the girl’s parents were informed that while picking her, she made mention of ‘uncle’. This gave me the impression that they might be suspecting me as the uncle.
“Then after some time, after some days, some of my teachers visited my house very early in the morning and when they came, I was also suspecting that they were sent over to the house to find out whether the girl was there with me. That was on the fifth day after the kidnap. So, I decided that it was better I found a way before I would be caught.
“I first thought of sending the girl to another state, but again, I thought the whole town was aware that she was missing. If the girl was going to be sent out through the main roads, we would be caught. That was when I conceived the idea of killing her.
“I picked her at home. She was already sleeping, because it was getting to 11pm. I picked her up… I used to take tea always… I was drinking tea at that time, so I put the remaining tea in an empty container of Bobo yoghurt and then I poured in this rat killer poison inside and gave it to the girl, not in my own house.
“When we went to the other school, when we were passing, I told her that I was taking her back to her uncle’s house.
“So as we were going, I gave her the drink on the road and she drank it and then we entered one branch of the school; the branches are two. We entered the other branch with her and I told her I was going to pick something inside. She entered and that was where she finally died.
“I bought the poison for N100. I buried her in the school.
“Let me clear this doubt: people are thinking that it has to do with rituals. This is not rituals. I buried her inside the school simply because I was not able to find any secure place to dig a hole.”
Tanko was paraded along with Hashim Isyaku.
An uncle of the deceased, Suraj Sulaiman, said the principal suspect wept profusely when he visited Hanifa’s parents to console them following her disappearance in December.
Victim’s mother pounces on suspect, Hanifa’s mother, Fatima Maina, could not hold herself yesterday on sighting Abdulmalik Tanko at the Police Command Headquarters.
She and her husband, Abubakar Abdulsalam, had gone to the police headquarters in connection with the case.
They got there before the handcuffed suspects were brought in.
As soon as she saw them, Fatima charged at Tanko and began to rain slaps on him, demanding to know why he killed her daughter.
Fatima had to be stopped by police personnel who immediately whisked the suspects away.
Allah will fight for me, says Hanifa’s father
But Hanifa’s father, Abubakar Abdulsalam, was restrained.
His words: “I’m really in sorrow for what happened. I can only thank Allah. This can happen to anyone and it is said that everyone who lives will die someday. So I leave everything to Allah.
“But till I die, I will never forget this. Those who did this to me have not been fair to me, neither have they been fair to the world. Allah will fight for me.
“I am also thanking the Nigerian security forces, especially those whose efforts found my murdered daughter. May Allah fight for our rights. I am sincerely grateful to you. I can’t thank you enough, only Allah can reward you.”
Buhari mourns her;
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday expressed the nation’s condolences to the family of Hanifa Abubakar.
He also praised the security agencies for unraveling the mystery behind the disappearance of Hanifa, and particularly for the arrest of her teacher and alleged accomplices.
Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said in a statement that the entire nation which followed up on Hanifa’s travail every day since her disappearance in December last year was hoping for the girl to be rescued alive and well.
He said the thorough and painstaking detective operation by the law enforcement agencies which led to the discovery of the corpse and the arrest of the suspects who have already made confessions was commendable.
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