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Drama as lawyers defending Kano cleric against ‘blasphemy’ withdraw from case

Drama as a group of lawyers representing and defending a Kano-based cleric, Abduljabbar Nasiru-Kabara have reportedly announced their withdrawal from the suit.

The cleric, Nasiru-Kabara, who is in detention at the Kurmawa correctional centre in Kano, is facing a four-count charge bordering on blasphemous comments against Prophet Muhammad.

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

Prosecuting counsel, Suraj Sa’eda stated that the defendant allegedly committed the offence on August 10, October 25, and December 20, 2019.

Recall that the judge, Ibrahim Sarki-Yola at the court sitting on September 2, 2021 ordered that the defendant be taken to Dawanau Psychiatric Hospital for mental evaluation.

In a letter dated September 15 and addressed to the judge of the upper Shariah court, the lawyers said they have withdrawn from the case with suit numbers CR/1/2021 and CR/631/2021.

“Following what transpired between the defendant and his lawyers, as well as a meeting between him and the lawyers at the Kurmawa Correctional Centre on September 14, 2021, we are hereby announcing our withdrawal from the case. We hope the court will accept our withdrawal. We pray the Judge would do justice,” the letter reads.

In his response, Nasiru-Kabara accused his lawyers of professional misconduct, extortion and wrongful relationship with his wife.

“They misled me not to respond to the charges earlier filed against me,” he said.

“[A] few days before coming to this court for the last sitting, the lawyers came to the correctional facility and informed me that charges would be read to me. Then they cautioned me that those charges were traps set to frame me, that if I accept those allegations, I have walked into a technical suicide trap that has been set against me.

“Unfortunately, on that day in court, I kept quiet as instructed. The court then ordered that I should undergo a mental and hearing test, and then my lawyers all sat did not object. Rather, I saw them chatting with the prosecution lawyers and I felt embarrassed. It is these same lawyers who joined me with a top civil servant in the state. I will not disclose the person’s name.”

However, Rabiu Shuaibu Abdullahi, spokesperson of the team of lawyers, told journalists that they are not legally in a position to reveal what actually happened between them and their client.

“We are legal practitioners and are guided by professional ethics. So, there is no way we can reveal what happened between us and our client to the public,” he said.

“However, we call on our client, Sheikh Abduljabbar, to report the allegations he has against us, which he mentioned to the court this morning, to the proper authority so that we can be quizzed for violating professional ethics.

“If by two weeks he fails to do that, we will be forced to take the necessary action to protect our image and integrity.”

 

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