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Court declines mental test for woman charged with killing ‘house help’

A Kano State High Court presided by Justice Faruk Lawan Adamu has refused an application for mental evaluation of Hafsat Surajo popularly known as Chuchu,…

A Kano State High Court presided by Justice Faruk Lawan Adamu has refused an application for mental evaluation of Hafsat Surajo popularly known as Chuchu, who is facing trial over the killing of her ‘house help,’ Nafiu Hafiz.

Chuchu was alleged to have stabbed her Hafiz multiple times on the body, leading to his death.

She was accused of seeking the assistance of her husband, Dayyabu Abdullahi, and one Malam Adamu Muhammad to clean Hafiz’s corpse and prepare it for burial. But when his family found his blood-stained body, they invited the police.

When the charges were read to her and her husband, he pleaded not guilty. Chuchu, however, did not respond to the charges.

Her counsel led by Barrister Sani Ammani applied for the court to refer his client to a Federal Psychiatric Hospital for mental evaluation pursuant to Section 278(3) of ACJL 2019 to ascertain if she is fit to stand trial. But the prosecution counsel Halima Yahuza Ahmad objected to it.

In his ruling, Justice Lawan held that the court did not see any abnormality with the defendant that may warrant him to grant the application.

“I have noticed that whenever the 2nd defendant is talking to her, she responded, but when the court talks to her she keeps mute,” he held.

The judge ruled that the defendant should take her plea instead.

The prosecution counsel, Aishatu Salisu, asked the court to allow them to present their witnesses at the next adjourned date.

Justice Lawan granted the application and adjourned the case to August 13, 14 and 15 for hearing.

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