Alleged blasphemy: Court adjourns until Sept.30 for cleric to engage lawyer

An Upper Sharia Court in Kano, on Thursday, adjourned until Sept. 30, for a cleric, Abduljabbar Nasiru-Kabara, to engage the services of a lawyer, following the withdrawal of his counsels.

Nasiru-Kabara is charged with four counts bordering on blasphemous comments against Prophet Muhammam.

The charges were preferred against him by the Kano state government.

According to Suraj Sa’eda, prosecution counsel, the defendant allegedly committed the offence on Aug. 10, Oct. 25, and Dec. 20, 2019.

At the resumed sitting, the court registry tendered the mental evaluation medical report of the defendant, from Kano State Hospital Management Board, Dawanau Psychiatric Hospital and Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital Kano.

The medical report reveals that the defendant was mentally fit and had no hearing deficiency.

Counsel to the defendant, Mr Haruna Magashi, who represented the lead counsel, Mr Saleh Muhammad-Bakaro, and three others, made an application to withdraw their services.

The Prosecution Counsel, Suraj Sa’eda, SAN, did not object the application  for the withdrawal of the defence counsel.

He informed the court that the defendant committed the offence on Aug.10, Oct.25 and Dec.20, 2019.

Aa’eda alleged that the defendant made a blasphemous comment against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his marriage with Nana Safiyya in Jautul Fara, section 93 (40) and hadith 1,365 and 1,428.

The defendant, however, told the court that he refused to answer his plea on the instruction of his counsel.

The Judge, Malam Ibrahim Sarki-Yola, granted the prayer of the defence counsel.

Sarki-Yola said that the defendant has legal rights to engage the services of a new lawyer of his choice, according to section 269 (1-4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2019.

He adjourned the matter until Sept.30, for continuation of hearing.

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