By Bashir Bello
KANO — A Kano State High Court, yesterday, ordered the state government to provide an interpreter for the Chinese national, Geng Quangrong, in the ongoing trial over the alleged murder of his ex-Nigerian lover, Ummukulsum Buhari.
The court order was coming as Geng’s plea could not be taken.
Geng was arraigned before the court on a one-count charge bordering on culpable homicide contrary to section 221 of the penal code.
When the case came up for re-arraignment, the defence counsel, Muhammad Dan’azumi urged the court to provide an interpreter for his client relying on section 36(6)(a)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
He said: “My Lord, the defendant is not a Nigerian, the English of the court is a unique language and the defendant needs to understand the charges he is standing trial on.
“The defendant is entitled to an interpreter, it is a constitutional right, which he is exploring.”
Responding, the prosecution counsel and Kano State Attorney-General, Musa Abdullahi-Lawan, told the court that he had ordered the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to write a letter to the Chinese Embassy and Chinese Community in Kano requesting an interpreter on behalf of the defendant.
“The defendant spoke good English on the last adjourned date on September 29. But the defence lawyer said his client doesn’t understand the English language very well because the English of the court is a unique language.
“So since the constitution backs provision of an interpreter, we took proactive action to write a letter to the Chinese Embassy and Chinese Community in Kano requesting for an interpreter on behalf of the defendant.
“When we get an interpreter we will finish the case in a very short time,” Abdullahi-Lawan said.
The presiding judge, Justice Sanusi Ado-Ma’aji, however, adjourned the matter until 27th October 2022 to enable the Kano State Government to provide an interpreter for the defendant.