Alleged Blasphemy: Court orders Legal aid council to provide lawyer for Kano cleric

Abduljabbar Nasiru Kabara, Kano, Court, Legal aid, Kano cleric
Sheikh Abduljabbar Nasiru Kabara

An Upper Shari’a Court sitting in Kano, on Thursday ordered  the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria (LACN) Headquarters to provide legal representation for Kano cleric, Sheikh Abduljabbar Kabara, in the ongoing alleged blasphemy trial.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Kano State Government charged Kabara with four counts bordering on blasphemous comments against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on Aug.10, Oct. 25 and Dec. 20, 2019.

At the resumed sitting, the defendant told the court that his lawyer withdrew their services from the case based on the complaints he wrote against them.

Kabara accused his lawyers of professional misconduct, extortion .

” I ordered my lawyers to withdraw from my case. We had some agreements on how the case should be but they conspired and betrayed me with a certificate tendering electronic exhibit signed by a prosecutor in Plateau.

” Some lawyers told me that the certificate could mar  my case,” he said.

Kabara told the court to proceed with the case.

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”I am still trying to get a new lawyer. I failed three times to engage the services of counsel but I was turned down,” he said.

The Prosecution Counsel, Nasiru Adamu-Aliyu SAN, told the court they received a letter from the defence counsel withdrawing his services on the grounds that his client made so many allegations against him.

He urged the court to give the defendant  an opportunity to get a new lawyer or order the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria to provide a lawyer for him based on the sensitivity of the case.

“Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution as amended is paramount that in capital offence a defendant need to be presented by a lawyer”

After listening to both parties, the presiding judge, Malam Ibrahim Sarki-Yola, ordered the LACN to provide a lawyer for the defendant in the interest of justice.

“I received a letter date April 20, from the former defence counsel Ambali Obomeileh-Muhammad, SAN, informing the court of  his withdrawal from the case.

” A lawyer from the Legal Aid Council will not say his life is in danger, any misunderstanding that may arise between the defendant and the lawyer, will not make them withdraw their services,” he said.

Sarki-Yola ordered the court registrar to write a letter to LACN to provide a lawyer for the defendant.

He adjourned the matte until May 26, for continuation of hearing.

The defendant was alleged to have 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.(NAN)

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