Kano map

As  angry youths set late Hanifa’s school ablaze 

Killer  teacher not our member — NAPPS

By Adesina Wahab & Bashir Bello

The proprietor of Noble Kids Academy, Abdulmalik Tanko, the school where the five-year-old Hanifa Abubakar, was killed, was arraigned before a magistrate court in Kano, yesterday.

Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa, spokesman of the Kano police command, who disclosed this, said the suspect, alongside two others, is being charged with “criminal conspiracy, kidnapping and culpable homicide.”

Tanko had confessed to the murder while answering questions on his involvement in the crime.

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He revealed that he killed Hanifa with “rat poison” and buried her body in the school premises with the help of a friend.

“I lied to Fatima and Isyaku that the girl’s mother was the one behind the plan to kidnap the girl to extort her father,” he had said.

“After Hashimu and Fatima failed to kidnap the girl, I decided to carry out the kidnapping myself. I kidnapped her when she was returning from Islamic school and took her to my family house.

“She stayed in my family house for about two weeks before I killed her. I killed her after some teachers in my school came to my house.

“I became suspicious. I thought they came to investigate me because they said the girl had once mentioned my name. It was after that visit that I gave her rat poison. I then contacted my friend and asked for his help to dig a hole where the girl would be buried.

“I demanded the sum of N6 million from the parents. I contacted them through the phone number her parents gave the school.”

Meanwhile, angry youths set the Noble Kids Academy ablaze in Kwanar Dakata, Kano State.

It was gathered that the youths mobilized themselves and launched an attack on the building in the wee hours of yesterday.

Recall that the youths had some days ago after the ugly incident attempted to burn down the school but were prevented by security agents deployed to forestall the breakdown of law and order in the area.

An effort to get the spokesman of the Kano State Police Command, SP Abdullahi Haruna, to react to the development proved abortive as he sent an SMS to our correspondent that he was in a meeting.

As a sequel to the incident leading to the death of Hanifa Abubakar,  the Kano State government has revoked the operational licence of all private schools in the state.

The Commissioner of Education, Muhammad Sanusi-Kiru, disclosed this while briefing newsmen in the state, yesterday.

Sanusi-Kiru said “The decision was as a result of the ugly and disturbing incident recorded in the state of recent and all perpetrated by the private school proprietors. We have issue of raping and kidnapping all coming from private schools in Kano.

“We received complaints of a private school proprietor who rape his students and he confessed to the crime.

“Recently, we recorded another disturbing case of this proprietor, Abdulmalik Tanko, who kidnapped, killed and buried his student, late Hanifa Abubakar.

“We have established Zonal offices for private and voluntary schools across Kano State and we have received so many disturbing reports, the emergence of so many mushroom private schools without registration.

“All these put together informed government decision because we can not sit and fold our arms while all these continue. We can not condone these happening in Kano State.

“We will review and revalidate their operational licence. We will shut down schools that fail to scale through the exercise.

“The ministry of education will set criteria for their revalidation. A panel has been set up comprising of the Ministry of Justice, Department of State Service, (DSS), Civil Defense and other security agencies to look into the revalidation of all private schools in Kano State,” Sanusi-Kiru stated.

In a related development, the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, NAPPS, has said Abdulmalik Tanko is not a member of the association. 

This is just as the association calls for stringent screening of school workers by their employers to avoid engaging criminal elements in their schools.

The National President of NAPPS, Chief Yomi Otubela, in a chat with Vanguard, while expressing sadness at the gruesome murder of the girl, said the National Executive Council of NAPPS would want justice to be done in the matter. 

“To us, the news of incessant abductions and killings of school children has become worrisome. We, therefore, urge both the state and federal governments to put machinery in place to ensure the safety of school children in the country.

“In the same manner, we implore the security operatives to carry out a proper investigation of this killing to arrest other perpetrators connected to this dastardly act who may be at large.”

“We enjoin school owners to keep tabs on their employees, activities within their schools and run appropriate background checks on new member of staff.

“We pray that the Almighty God will give the parents and other family members of this young girl the fortitude to bear this painful loss and comfort them at this critical period while urging speedy dispensation of justice regarding the killers of this young girl. We demand justice for Hanifa,” he said.


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