The Legal Aid Council of Nigeria has said Sheikh Abduljabbar Nasiru Kabara is not eligible to get pro bono legal service following the withdrawal of his counsel, Ambali Muhammad (SAN), from an ongoing blasphemy case.
A Kano Shari’a court sitting at Kofar Kudu had ordered the council to provide legal representation for Sheikh Abduljabbar.
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Abduljabbar has since June last year been arraigned for making blasphemous statements against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) which the Kano State Government said was capable of inciting the public.
The council’s Director in Kano, Barrister Mukhtar Labaran Usman, yesterday told the court that the Kano-based cleric was not eligible to receive its legal services since he earned above the national minimum wage of N30,000.
However, Sheikh Abduljabbar said he was not a salary earner and therefore had no specific income.
He, therefore, appealed for free legal services.
The prosecution counsel, Barrister Yakubu Abdullahi, asked the court to provide legal representation for Abduljabbar through the office of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Kano State.
However, the accused rejected the offer, accusing the state government of standing against him, noting that it would not guarantee him fair representation.
The Khadi, Ibrahim Sarki Yola, rejected the prosecution counsel’s offer to engage the state’s attorney general.
Yola, therefore, ordered the court’s registrar to write Barrister Dalhatu Usman, a private lawyer, to stand as defense counsel to Abduljabbar and adjourned to June 9.