Murja Suleiman Zubairu, the mother of the slain five-year-old Hanifa Abubakar, has narrated an encounter with the self-confessed killer of her child.
The five-year-old pupil was murdered after she was abducted on her way from school.
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Daily Trust had reported how Abdulmalik Tanko, proprietor of Noble Kids Academy, the school the deceased attended confessed to killing her with N100 rat poison.
While testifying as the seventh prosecution witness on Wednesday, the 38-year-old Murja narrated how she took Hanifa to her Islamiyya school on December 4, 2021.
She said around 5:30pm when the school closed, a daughter of one of their neighbours ran to their house to tell them that one man had taken Hanifa away in a tricycle. She quoted the girl as saying that Hanifa told them the man was her uncle (male teacher) when they tried to stop her from entering the tricycle.
“Among those we were searching for Hanifa with, there was one of her teachers and I asked her if there was any other uncle in the school apart from Abdulmalik because all the other teachers I know in the school are females.
“She told me there was a new male teacher in the school and when they called him, he said he does not even know any Hanifa because he was assigned to teach in the secondary session of the school.
“The female teacher also called Abdulmalik Tanko that night in my presence and put the phone on loudspeaker and told him that Hanifa mentioned that it was her uncle that took her into the tricycle before the tricycle zoomed off with her. At that time, Abdulmalik said, ‘Subhanallahi’.
“On Monday in the morning, Abdulmalik came to my house and immediately he entered, I started crying and immediately our eyes met, he started shedding tears and I had to even console him.
“When he was leaving, he prayed that may God allow us to see her. So at that time, our suspicion left Abdulmalik because of how he acted,” she narrated.
She further narrated that she received text messages asking them for N6million ransom for the girl and the sender sent evidence that Hanifa was in his custody.
When the abductor later called and asked if they were satisfied with the evidence, Murja said she told him she didn’t see anything.
She also narrated how the proprietor asked them to take the ransom to the same location they saw Hanifa’s hijab and how he was later arrested while trying to pick the second tranche of the ransom money.
According to her, when she saw Tanko at the police station, she asked him what Hanifa did to him and what she did to him, and Tanko begged for forgiveness saying it was a money problem and he knew he will get the money from us.
“He later told me he was the one that brought the evidence to the door of our house.”
The emotional mother recalled that it was Hanifa that brought the school flier to them and asked to be enrolled in the school and that she initially refused her late daughter’s request, adding that from the first day they took the slain youngster to the school, she (Hanifa) had warmed up to her would-be killer.
Meanwhile, the matter has been adjourned to April 12 for cross-examination of the witness.